Virginia announced Friday afternoon that Joanna Hardin would be its new head softball coach. Hardin, who comes to Charlottesville after two seasons as head coach of McNeese State, will take over for the Cavaliers who have endured through three straight losing seasons and a losing conference record since 2010.
Joanna Hardin has been named the head coach of the Cavalier softball program. #GoHoos https://t.co/cUkyySzvV0 pic.twitter.com/0vxd857kkT— UVA Softball™ (@UVASOFTBALL) June 10, 2016
"We are excited to welcome Coach Hardin to the University of Virginia,” Virginia athletics director Littlepage said in a statement. “It’s clear Jo is one of the bright stars in college softball as the success she’s experienced at all levels of coaching is fueled with an enthusiastic and positive approach. Her energy is contagious and she's committed to developing student-athletes in all facets of University life."
“I am incredibly humbled and honored for the opportunity to be part of the University of Virginia and lead the softball program,” Hardin said in the statement. “I’m excited to be part of a university that holds such high standards of excellence academically, socially, and athletically, and I look forward to being part of the great tradition and culture of such a prestigious university.”
As head coach at McNeese State, Hardin led the Cowgirls to a 43-14 record this year, which included a Southland Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA Regionals, and a 36-20 record in 2015. Prior to this, she served as an assistant coach there for two years. She has also served as an assistant coach at Longwood and the head coach at Jefferson Forest High School in Forest, Virginia.
“I love softball, and coaching the game is the best job anyone can have in the world. I get to go out every day and get in the dirt and do the thing I love. I look forward to meeting the team and developing relationships with them. I’m excited about the opportunity to coach and compete in the ACC and build the program at Virginia. I’m ready to complete my staff and hit the ground running on this journey with the program.”