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Kim Maher is in her seventh season at the helm of the Purdue program, including back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009. Maher became the second head coach in Boilermaker softball history on July 14, 2005.
In six seasons under Maher, the Boilermakers have posted a 186-150-3 record and have registered at least one win against each of their 10 conference foes. The team extended its streak of non-losing seasons to 13 in 2011, posting a 30-18-2 mark. Purdue has defeated eight ranked opponents, including three Top 10 teams, while garnering the first national ranking in program history during the 2009 season. Her charges have been honored with eight All-Mideast Region, 15 All-Big Ten, four Academic All-District and 38 Academic All-Big Ten accolades.
Maher, who spent six seasons as an assistant coach at California, has represented the United States in numerous international competitions, including the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta where she won a gold medal, while also garnering valuable coaching experience as a clinician and at California under head coach Diane Ninemire.
"Kim brings experience at the highest level to the Purdue program," Athletics Director Morgan J. Burke said. "She not only owns an Olympic gold medal, but has competed professionally and helped coach the California program, which is among the nation's elite. She possesses the recruiting edge and competitive drive that will help our program become a nationally competitive program."
In her first season with the Boilermakers, the team posted a 30-30 record, including a 7-12 conference mark, just one game away from a Big Ten Tournament berth. The 30-win season was the seventh straight in program history. Maher's charges also carried on a tradition of academic success as six players garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors and one earned Academic All-America accolades.
In 2007, the Boilermakers went 33-32-1, including a 10-9 Big Ten mark good for fifth place. The team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament and recorded the first postseason win in program history, topping Iowa in the second round, before falling in the semifinals. Two players were named to the All-Big Ten team and garnered TPS/Louisville Slugger All-Mideast Region honors. Four student-athletes were honored with Academic All-Big Ten accolades.
In 2008, Maher led the Boilermaker program to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and victory, while she and her staff garnered NFCA Mideast Regional Coaching Staff of the Year accolades. Purdue posted a 35-23 mark, including a 9-9 showing in the Big Ten, good for fifth place. The Boilermakers topped Cal State Fullerton for the team's first NCAA Regional victory, while also defeating No. 7 Baylor during the regular season. Three players were named to the All-Big Ten teams, while four garnered TPS/Louisville Slugger All-Mideast Region honors. Seven student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
The Boilermakers made their second-straight NCAA appearance in 2009 as part of a 31-20 season, which also featured a sixth-place league finish. The team kicked off the year with a win over No. 4 UCLA and also downed No. 18 Texas A&M, No. 10 Northwestern and No. 14 Ohio State during the regular season. In the NCAAs, after losing their first contest to No. 19 Louisville, the Boilermakers rebounded with a pair of wins, including a rematch with the Cardinals to advance to the regional final against No. 6 Arizona. Four players garnered All-Big Ten honors, while nine received Academic All-Big Ten accolades.
In 2010, Purdue faced off with Top 25 ranked foes in 12 contests and took on 11 opponents that advanced to the NCAA Regionals. The Boilermakers posted a 27-27 record, extending the program's streak of non-losing seasons to 12 straight, including a win over No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette. The team also managed an 8-10 mark in conference play to nail down sixth place in the league for the second consecutive season. The Boilermakers led the nation in stolen bases per game 2.67, with a school single-season record tally of 144, including a single-game record 12 steals against Michigan State on April 28. Two players garnered All-Big Ten accolades and one was named to the All-Mideast Region team. One student-athlete was honored with Academic All-District V accolades, while six received Academic All-Big Ten honors.
The 2011 season saw the Boilermakers post a 30-18-2 record, marking the 14th 30-win season in program history, and finish fifth in the Big Ten, tying its second best placing in school history. The team registered a school record .313 average, ranking 23rd nationally, and posted a record .462 slugging percentage. The Boilermakers also ranked in the nation's top 50 in five other categories, including stolen bases per game (11th), triples per game (15th) and double plays per game (24th). Purdue tied school records for hits, doubles and RBI in a game and set several individual marks. Boilermaker players garnered one All-Midwest Region, three All-Big Ten, two Academic All-District and six Academic All-Big Ten honors. Purdue players also picked up eight Big Ten Player, Pitcher or Freshman of the Week selections.
In her time at California, Maher helped guide the Bears to the Women's College World Series each of her six years, including a National Championship in 2002 and runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2004. The team finished near the top of the Pac-10 Conference standings from 2002-2005, including a league title in 2005. The Cal coaches were named NFCA/Speedline Coaching Staff of the Year in 2002, and earned NFCA Regional honors in 2003.
Maher said that her coaching experience at California, and Purdue's similarities to that environment were attractive.
"I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to be at Cal for six years," Maher said. "I learned a lot from the players and the coaches and about what it takes to be successful. Purdue is a university similar to Cal in that academics are a huge priority, the community support is there and the history and prestige of the university are well known. What student-athlete wouldn't want to come here, get an education and have the opportunity to play softball in the Big Ten and eventually compete for a national championship."
After graduating from Fresno State University in 1995, Maher founded Extreme Hitting, a company that conducted softball clinics for youth of all ages, including individualized lessons and workout programs intended to enhance performance. After a five-year run, the Buena High School alumna joined the staff at California.
Prior to entering the coaching world, Maher made her name as a player on both the international and professional stages. She helped launch the Women's Professional Softball League, which began in 1997. Maher played for the Florida Wahoos, helping the team to the league title in 2000, while also being named to the All-Star team. As part of the WPSL, she toured the country conducting player and coaches clinics, and promoting the league on its media tour.
Maher believes that the Boilermakers have the tools to make strides toward achieving her ultimate goals for the program.
"My goal is for our program to be a national contender and to win a national championship and, along with that, to graduate everyone," Maher said. "You can do both at a school like Purdue, which is in a great community and has good support from the athletics department. The resources are there, it is just a matter of rebuilding the program and starting a new culture where players expect to win."
As a member of the United States Olympic and National teams, Maher participated in several international competitions and national tours. She has represented the United States in international competitions ranging from the 1995 Pan American Games to the 1997 World Championships, in addition to winning the gold in Atlanta. Most recently, she was named to the All-Star team at the Canada Cup International Women's Fastpitch Tournament in 2002.
The Ventura, Calif., native, also played for the Redding Rebels, which won the Amateur Softball Association's Major National Championship in 1993, 1994 and 1995. She set the ASA national home run record with five at the 1994 National Championships. Maher garnered ASA Women's Major First Team All-America honors four times (1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998), and was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 1994.
Maher began her playing career as a shortstop at Fresno State (1991-94), where she earned second team All-America status her senior season. She finished her career as the Bulldogs' all-time leader in home runs (31), RBI (181), runs (162) and doubles (49). The four-time all-conference and two-time all-region honoree helped Fresno State to three College World Series appearances (1991, 1992, 1994), including third-place finishes her first two seasons. In 1993, Maher led the Western Athletic Conference in slugging percentage, runs, hits and home runs, helping her earn Fresno State's Female Athlete of the Year award.
Maher earned her bachelor's degree in physical education from Fresno State in 1995. She received her master's degree in sports psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2005.