Boo Gillette, a three-time All-Big Ten catcher at Wisconsin, is in her third year as an assistant coach for the Purdue softball team, after being hired in September of 2007.
"I have seen our program grow and mature," Gillette said. "We are not satisfied with just gaining an NCAA bid, we want to make it to the World Series...and win! With our talent, work ethic, team chemistry, and heart, our possibilities are endless."
Gillette came to Purdue from Madison Area Technical College, where she served as head coach. She revived a program that had been dormant for seven years and built a program that earned a No. 10 national ranking. The South West Ranches, Fla., native led the team to an 11-8 record in a weather-shortened schedule, including wins over a pair of nationally ranked teams, as well as to a Region XIIIA runner up finish and the Ithasca Community College Jennie Guyer Memorial Tournament title. Her charges found success on both sides of the ball, ranking among the nation's best in batting average as well as in pitching categories. Gillette coached two All-Region team members, three Region XIIIA All-Tournament members, two All-America nominees and five All-Academic team winners.
"Boo has been a great asset to the Purdue softball program," head coach Kim Maher said. "She has been loyal as an assistant coach and committed to the goals and visions of our program. I am privileged to have been able to watch Boo grow and develop over the past few years and I am excited to see where we as a staff can lead the team."
Prior to her time at MATC, Gillette served as assistant coach at Edgewood College, a Division III school in Madison, Wis., where she acted as pitching/catching coach, while also handling the team offense. A part of the Lake Michigan Conference Coaching Staff of the Year, Gillette helped the Eagles to their first undefeated season in the LMC Conference en route to the league title and a 30-13 overall mark in 2006. Under her watch, two pitchers and two catchers received All-LMC Conference honors, while the pitching staff led the league in ERA.
During the 2005-06 school year, Gillette also was an intern for the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program at the University of Wisconsin. In the position, she helped organization the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, aided in career planning and academic success for UW student athletes and assisted the CHAMPS coordinator in planning community service events.
Gillette is a 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she was the starting catcher for the Badgers for four seasons. A three-time team captain and three-time All-Big Ten catcher under head coach Karen Gallagher, Gillette was recruited to UW as a pitcher/catcher, but was unable to pitch following an injury her freshman year. In addition to earning third team All-Big Ten honors each of her final three seasons, she was named as UW's Most Defensive Player in 2002, after registering 331 putouts, third best in the Badger record books. In 2004, she was named the team's Most Offensive Player and co-MVP, when she set single-season records for doubles (14), RBI (34) and fielding percentage (.996), and single game RBI (6). As a senior in 2005, Gillette hit safely in 13 straight games, marking the third-longest streak in Wisconsin history, and tallied a .350 average with 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 34 RBI, en route to team MVP honors. She ranked among the Badger career top 10 in 14 different categories, including home runs (20) entering the 2007 season.
In addition to her on-the-field achievements at UW, Gillette was chosen by the NCAA to represent Wisconsin at the NCAA Leadership Conference in 2003. She was Student Athlete Advisory Committee President and UW Athletic Board Representative her final two seasons. She garnered the Badger Pride Award in 2002 and 2003, an honor which is given to the Badger player who best embodies an ideal Wisconsin student-athlete in the classroom, on the ball field and within the community. Gillette was named a Coca-Cola Community All-American nominee, earned the UW Community All-American award and was honored as the Big Ten Conference's Sportsmanship Award winner in 2005.
A 2001 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Gillette was Florida Softball Player of the Year and her school's Most Athletic Girl in 2001 and led her team to the conference and district titles and the state championship tournament all four years. The daughter of Mike and Nancy Gillette, Boo is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in special education. Gillette's legal name is Boo Laura Michelle Gillette.