Dec. 17, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army head softball coach Michelle DePolo was among three athletes recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of her alma mater, Georgian Court University. DePolo, a 2003 graduate, was joined by Judy Casey ('79) and Sherry Keech Coulter ('05) in representing the Lions' first HOF class since enshrining five in 2003.
DePolo, a three-sport athlete for the Lions, served as captain of the Georgian Court softball team her junior and senior years. The Army mentor, who enjoyed an outstanding career as a pitcher, led the Lions to four Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) titles, three Region X championships and three NAIA national tournament appearances, along with an ECAC crown.
An All-CACC Tournament pick, DePolo compiled a 0.50 ERA her sophomore year with a 4-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
DePolo, who also lettered in basketball and soccer while excelling in the classroom, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English. A Dean's List student every semester, DePolo was named a Presidential Scholar and a National Dean's List recipient.
"I'm truly honored and humbled by Georgian Court's decision to select me in the second class of Hall of Fame inductees," stated DePolo. "My experiences at Georgian Court have had a continuous and profound impact on the course of my life and career thereafter. I will always be indebted to the institution for the opportunities it provided me, and I can only hope to give back as much as the school has given me."
Following graduation, DePolo saw her career path take off as the head coach of the U.S. Military Academy Prep School in 2004, where she led her team to its best record in program history. DePolo also worked on the coaching staffs at her alma mater (2004-05), Smith College (2005-06) and Amherst College (2007), working with the pitchers and catchers. During the period, she earned a master's degree in Exercise and Sport Studies from Smith College in 2007.
DePolo spent the next two years (2008-09) as an assistant coach on Army's staff where she oversaw the pitchers and served as the program's recruiting coordinator. She was promoted to head coach in the spring of 2009 and enjoyed immediate success leading the Black Knights to a school-record 33 wins (Division I) and tying the Academy's overall mark. Army captured the Patriot League regular-season title and first since 1992, earning DePolo Coach of the Year honors.
Last spring DePolo's nine shattered the school mark for victories with 37 wins en route to posting just the fourth 30-win season in school history and second during her four-year span at the helm. The Black Knights set another milestone last year as DePolo guided the team to the championship finals of the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2006.
DePolo, just the eighth coach (third female) in the history of the program, heads into her fifth season with 98 wins and is on track to become the second winningest coach in school history in 2013. She needs just 10 wins to pass Al Arceo (1986-89), who compiled 107 victories during his four years at the helm. Jim Flowers, who DePolo replaced following his retirement in 2009, is the winningest coach with 394 victories.