WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Stephanie DeFeo, a three-time collegiate All-American and Academic All-American with 15 years of coaching experience, joined the Purdue softball staff as an assistant coach on July 6, 2012.
DeFeo comes to Purdue after a six seasons at Ball State, where she was recently named associate head coach and oversaw travel, camps and fundraising in addition to her on-the-field duties. The Cardinals posted a 204-145 record and won three Mid-American Conference championships during her time with the team. Ball State won the regular season title in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 after winning the MAC Tournament title. In her tenure, Ball State boasted two Academic All-Americans and three MAC Player of the Year honorees as well as eight All-Great Lakes Region and 31 All-MAC selections. In the last four seasons, Ball State placed 13 players on the All-MAC first team than any other school in the league.
"We are excited to have Stephanie DeFeo as a part of the Purdue softball staff," Maher said. "She brings an intensity and passion for the game, and she will be able to step right in and make an immediate impact. Stephanie is a great recruiter and will identify the talent we need to take our program to the next level, while helping Coach Stephenson and myself build off the success of our current team."
The Louisiana-Lafayette alumna worked primarily with Ball State's hitters and infielders, helping the Cardinals break school records in 20 of the 24 offensive categories in the program's record book. In 2012, the squad finished the season as the only NCAA Division I program to rank in the top 11 nationally in batting average (8th, .318), slugging percentage (6th, .543), runs scored (5th, 6.69 per game), doubles (2nd, 1.82 per game), triples (11th, 0.29 per game) and home runs (10th, 1.27 per game). Ball State posted a school- and MAC-record 70 home runs in 2012, including a single season record 18 long balls by sophomore Jennifer Gilbert, who was MAC Player of the Year.
In addition to its offensive success, Ball State has improved its defense in DeFeo's time on staff, posting the top five fielding marks in program history, including a school record .974 fielding percentage in 2010. In 2012, the Cardinals led the nation by turning a NCAA-leading and program-record 33 double plays.
Prior to joining the Ball State staff, DeFeo spent the 2005-06 season as the manager of All-American Softball Clinics, where she provided private lessons for hitting, pitching, catching and fielding. In addition, she conducted private clinics for middle school and high school programs as well as summer teams. She also helped prepare parents for the collegiate recruitment process.
DeFeo began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Southeastern Louisiana in 1997. After stints as an assistant at Texas-San Antonio (1998-99) and Buffalo (1999-2000), she directed a fledgling softball program at East Tennessee State as the head coach for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. In the program's inaugural campaign in 2001, the team posted a 14-35 record (9-11 Southern Conference) with the nine conference wins being the most by a first-year team in conference history. The 2002 squad earned a 25-32 record (9-12 SoCon) and placed fifth in the regular season and fourth in the conference tournament.
From ETSU, DeFeo took over the program at North Carolina-Greensboro, where she acted as head coach for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, guiding the Spartans to a 68-48 overall record. In her first season, UNC-Greensboro set a school and Southern Conference record with 57 home runs. In her two years as head coach, DeFeo tutored the 2003 Southern Conference Player of the Year and six all-conference student-athletes.
As a collegiate student-athlete from 1993-1997, DeFeo was a three-time All-American and a three-time CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-American, while playing first base and designated player. She set school records at Louisiana-Lafayette for single-season home runs (15) as well as career home runs (43), slugging percentage (.676) and RBI (187).
After completing her collegiate playing career, DeFeo played for the Orlando Wahoos in the Women's Professional Softball League in the summer of 1997, and played for the Durham Dragons in the summers of 1998 and 1999.
DeFeo earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997 and is currently working on a master's degree through a distance program from East Carolina.