April 22, 2007
Villanova, Pa. - On Sunday, April 22, Villanova softball head coach Maria DiBernardi picked up win number 600 in her career at Villanova with a 1-0 win over Providence College.
DiBernardi, who is currently in her 23rd season leading the Wildcats softball program, has a career record of 600-452-8 at Villanova. She entered the 2007 season tied for 32nd among active coaches with 579 wins. There are just 29 active Division I softball coaches that had at least 600 wins at the start of the season.
"I would like to congratulate Maria DiBernardi on the occasion of her 600th career victory at Villanova," Villanova University Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro said. "This is truly a remarkable accomplishment and is a testament to her strong and steady leadership of our softball program over the years."
She began her career at Villanova in 1985 when softball was a non-scholarship sport and the season consisted of just 16 games. Now DiBernardi leads a fully funded program, with scholarship athletes from all over the country. The Wildcats play a 56 game schedule, and play top 25 teams throughout the year.
DiBernardi has taken her teams to the Big East Tournaments 13 times, which began holding the conference tournament in 1990. Sara Carlson was a third team All-American Selection in 2002 and Theresa Hornick was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year that same season, while Kelly Sparks was chosen BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 1995.
Villanova has won at least 40 games in a season three times under DiBernardi and on ten occasions they have won at least 30 games in a season. She has had seven players play professional softball both in the United States and internationally.
Numerous players have received a variety of academic awards while playing for DiBernardi at Villanova. Since the 1992 campaign, 122 players have received BIG EAST Academic All-Star recognition, including nine players on the current roster. DiBernardi has also had 25 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Academic All-Americans since the 1999-2000 school year, and in 2000 the softball team was awarded the Nnenna Lynch Award. The award is given out annually to the Villanova athletic team with the highest team grade point average. In addition, the softball team has had a team GPA over 3.0 in each of the 23 seasons under DiBernardi.
DiBernardi has also coached nine CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, with three being named to the first team. Other academic honors that some of her players have received include five players being named Villanova Senior Student-Athlete of the Year.
A 1985 graduate of Immaculata College, she currently resides in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania with her daughter, Deanna, a sophomore pitcher at Yale University.