Lauren Rizzo Named Wilmington University’s New Softball Head Coach
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - Bear, Del.
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New head coach Lauren Rizzo
Wilmington University athletic director Linda Van Drie-Andrzjewski is pleased to announce that former Wildcat softball assistant coach Lauren Rizzo has been named the new head coach.
“We are proud to welcome Lauren as the new softball head coach,” Andrzjewski said. “Her winning attitude is a great fit for the Wilmington University athletic program.”
Rizzo is a 2005 graduate of St. Elizabeth’s High School in Wilmington, where she was a multiple All-Catholic Conference and All-State performer. She joined the Wilmington staff as an assistant last season, where she took over coaching third base. The Wildcats earned the fourth seed in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament with an 18-8 conference record and an overall mark of 26-25.
While a student-athlete at Ferrum, Rizzo started and played in all but one game during her outstanding four-year career. She set a program record with 166 at-bats as a freshman, and finished her sophomore season as the Panthers’ all-time season leader with 13 doubles for the year. Overall, she batted .369 for her career with 117 runs, 111 RBI’s and nine home runs. Rizzo batted .407 as a senior in 2009.
A 2009 graduate of Ferrum College, Rizzo spent two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater before joining the Wildcat staff. During her two years, she helped lead the Panthers to a 57-29 overall record, including a program record 31-16 record in 2010. The Panthers advanced to the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament in both seasons, falling 1-0 in extra innings in the championship game in 2010.
In addition to the on-field success at Ferrum, Rizzo also served as the academic advisor and mentor for the Panthers. There, her accomplishments included helping the student-athletes obtain the highest grade point average in the conference for softball, as well as the highest GPA in the athletic department at Ferrum.
“As a first year head coach, I want the girls to be productive every day and see their improvement. The ultimate goal is to win a championship and the girls need to know that. It’s a long season and there will be wins and losses, but at the end of the year, we want to be the team on top.”
Rizzo also was an outstanding student-athlete, as she was was named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar Athlete in 2008-09, a two-time NFCA All-Region selection, Ferrum College President’s Cup Winner for both academic and athletic success as a senior, and Ferrum College’s Woman of the Year in 2009.
Most recently, Rizzo had been employed by St. Elizabeth Elementary School as a physical education teacher.
“Moving home to coach was a dream come true,” Rizzo said thinking back to when she accepted the assistant job last winter. “I’ve always said that home is where the heart is and getting to be a head coach in my home town makes it all worth it.”