Entering her fifth season at the helm of the University of Pittsburgh Softball Team, Holly Aprile is the only coach in Panthers' history to register three-consecutive winning seasons. Under her guidance, Pitt has also recorded a program-best No. 6 seed in the conference tournament in two of the past three seasons.
An All-American herself at the University of Massachusetts, Aprile has steadily guided Pitt's pitchers and catchers to record-setting performances during her tenure both as the Panthers head coach and in her previous role as an assistant. As a result of building a solid foundation for the Panthers, Aprile achieved her 100th career win during a 9-7 victory over George Washington on March 18, 2012.
The 2012 squad ranked among the top of the Big East in several categories, including second in assists, third in triples and fifth in ERA. Aprile also guided freshman sensation Savannah King to a school-record 19 wins in the circle. The ace rewrote Pitt's single-season and rookie records, while 2012 All-Big East honorees Kelly Hmiel and Holly Stevens etched their names in the Pitt record book. Hmiel is rated among the Panther greats in several offensive categories, which includes the all-time batting average title (.330). Stevens holds the program mark for homeruns (27) in a career.
Aprile directed the 2011 team to arguably the best season in Pitt history. Numerous school records fell, both individually and as a team. The 34 victories that year marked only the third time in program history that Pitt captured 30-plus wins.
The Panthers won 10 of their last 13 games in 2011, including six-straight in their first-ever season at Vartabedian Field at the Petersen Sports Complex. In addition to achieving a record 34 wins, Pitt set program marks in Big East wins (13), home runs (51) and shutouts (14).
Statistically, the 2011 team ranked among the NCAA top-50 in fielding percentage (.972-20th), triples per game (0.27 - 25th), slugging percentage (.466 - 35th), stolen bases per game (1.55- 36th), home runs per game (1.0-36th) and team ERA (2.1-41st).
That same team set another program record when four Panthers earned their first-ever All-Big East honors. Individually, four Panthers ranked among the nation's elite, while Hmiel was selected the program's first-ever National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Player of the Week on March 15.
Additionally, Aprile guided Pitt's pitching trio of Alyssa O'Connell, Cory Berliner and Karlyn Jones to new heights. The team ranked second in the Big East and 39th in the NCAA in earned run average. The tandem, who all hold school records, yielded 138 runs, 100 earned runs, and 87 walks, all of which were the fewest in the conference. Furthermore, the trio combined for a team-record 14 shutouts and had conference top-ten ERAs.
In 2009 - Aprile's first season as head coach - three Panthers were named to the Big East Weekly honor roll, while two single-season, two career and one team record fell.
Aprile became the second head coach in Pitt softball history in July, 2008. The Afton, N.Y. native stepped into the top spot after five seasons as a Panthers assistant.
Aprile joined the Pitt staff after spending nine seasons as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina. From 1995-2003, she helped guide the Gamecocks to seven NCAA Regional appearances and a College World Series berth in 1997.
Aprile also worked as a graduate assistant coach at Eastern Illinois University, where she earned her master's degree in political science in 1995.
A 1992 graduate of UMass with a degree in Sport Management, Aprile helped the Minutewomen to capture Atlantic 10 titles. A pitcher/outfielder, she was a four-time all-conference first team selection (1989-92) and twice was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. In addition, Aprile was also tabbed the1992 A-10 Pitcher of the Year, 1989 A-10 Rookie of the Year and twice was named the A-10 Tournament's outstanding pitcher (1989, 1992).
She was named to both the All-Northeast Region squad and the All-New England team on two occasions and was a 1992 ECAC All-Star team selection, as well as an All A-10 Academic honoree.
Aprile played a pivotal role in leading UMass to its first trip to the College World Series in 1992, and closed her career with a then-school record 77 victories. In honor of her achievements, she was inducted into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame just three years after her graduation.
She was also a participant on the United States National Team from 1993-99, competing in the U.S. Olympic Festival (1993-97), Pan Am Qualifying (1994, 1997) and the South Pacific Classic (1998).