(Courtesy: UofL Athletics) Sandy Pearsall, who has served as the University of Louisville's head softball coach for the last 19 seasons since the program's inception, has announced her retirement effective immediately.
Pearsall guided the Cardinals to 718 wins, six conference championships, 13 NCAA regional appearances and four regional finals. Her teams produced 30 or more wins 17 times, tallying eight seasons with at least 40 victories.
"It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire from the University of Louisville," said Pearsall. "It has been a great ride, but after almost 35 years in the profession, it is time to walk away and focus on my family and my health. I am very thankful to the university, the administration, my staff and co-workers for their hard work, support and friendship throughout the years. I am especially thankful for the players who have come through our program. They have helped lay the foundation for the success we have built here."
"We sincerely appreciate all of Sandy's efforts in building our softball program from the ground up," said UofL Vice President and Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. "The 718 wins, NCAA regional appearances and conference titles are significant, but her legacy is united with the abundance of student-athletes' lives she touched and the investment she made in advancing softball in our community and university. We wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement. We will begin a national search for a new softball coach immediately."
Under Pearsall's guidance, the Cardinals have 101 all-league selections (27 All-Conference USA/54 BIG EAST, five American Athletic Conference, 14 Atlantic Coast Conference). Louisville's individual honors have included two Players of the Year (Melissa Roth -2009, Chelsea Bemis - 2010), two league Pitchers of the Year (Catherine Bishop - BIG EAST, 2006/Aja Sherman, C-USA, 2005), MVP (Courtney Moore - C-USA, 2005), and Freshman of the Year (Audrey Rendon - C-USA, 2004).
Pearsall was tabbed to start the softball program at the University of Louisville and brought with her both head coaching experience and program building expertise. She helped christen UofL's Ulmer Stadium with a winning season, earning 2000 Conference USA Coach of the Year honors along the way. Louisville followed its inaugural season with a 40-26 campaign in 2001.
Pearsall helped guide the 2012 Cards to a program-best 55-5 record while capturing the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles. UofL spent the majority of the season ranked in the top 10 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association coaches' polls, appearing as high as No. 7 and 9 respectively. The season culminated with the Cards earning a No. 15 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and serving as host for the NCAA Regionals.
The softball team was one of four UofL teams to be recognized among the nation's Academic Progress Rate (APR) leaders in the 2015 report which honors programs ranked among the top 10 percent in their respective sports. The APR measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation for student-athletes.
The Pearsall File
2000 - present - University of Louisville
(718-371/.659); 968-705/.579 overall)