When the Hofstra softball team takes the field against Columbia Saturday morning for its home opener in the Hyatt Place Invitational, there will be two familiar faces in the opposing dugout.
The Columbia head coach is former Hofstra softball player Kayla Noonan, who was a four-year catcher for the then Flying Dutchwomen in the late 90’s. The Lion’s assistant coach Adrienne Clark is also familiar to Pride fans, as she was a key pitcher for Hofstra during its run to three straight NCAA Tournaments from 2003-2005.
Noonan and Clark are just two of many former Hofstra players in the college softball ranks including East Carolina associate head coach Natalie Koslowski (1992), Princeton assistant coach Alexis Alcantara (2004) and University of Hartford assistant coach Kayleigh Lotti (2009). In addition former Hofstra pitcher Courtney Oliver is in her first season as an assistant coach for her alma mater after spending the last two seasons coaching at Monmouth and Boston University.
“Any time that you can go against a former player or coach against a former player or coach against a former player I think it’s a great feather in our cap as far as Hofstra is concerned with the number of players we have out there coaching,” said the Pride's 22nd-year head coach Bill Edwards. “I’m so proud of [Noonan and Clark] and I’m so proud of all or our ambassadors that are out there coaching as part of the Hofstra program.”
Noonan is now in her ninth year as Columbia head coach and posted five straight 20-win seasons from 2003-2007. Clark is in her third season on the Columbia coaching staff after previously serving as an assistant at Delaware from 2006-2008.
Edwards said he is proud not just of Noonan and Clark’s accomplishments in the dugout but also the way they represent themselves off the field with their strong character. “I respect them tremendously not only as coaches and former players but these are just great people that are now passing on some of the things that hopefully they learned here,” said Edwards. “They are tremendous, wonderful people and I am just very, very proud of them.”
The Hofstra-Columbia game Saturday morning in the opening to Hyatt Place Invitational is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Hofstra will then face Columbia again on Sunday at 10 a.m. and also have two games this weekend against Connecticut.