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COACH PEPIN

In her own words

VIDEO

Now in her 12th season -- the most consecutive seasons and equalling the most overall by a head coach in program history -- Diana Pepin has restored the luster to the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program.

Pepin has led the progarm to five consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and to regional championships and national tournament appearances in 2010 and 11. And with seven starters returning in 2013, the expectations remain high as Eastern has commanded pre-season ranks of No. 10 in Division III and No. 1 in the Little East Conference.

By averaging just under 40 wins from 2010 through 2012, Pepin has pushed her overall winning percentage as Eastern's head coach to 64.4 -- one of four coaches in program history with winning percentages over 60.0 percent.

Pepin has coached and won more games than any of the previous six coaches in the program's 36-year history, moving to the top in games coached in the national tournament opener on May 20, 2011 against Christopher Newport and becoming the program's winningest head coach with her 285th victory in a 6-0 home triumph over Ithaca College in the fourth round of the 2012 NCAA regional tournament.

In 2012, Pepin became the first coach in program history to be recognized as ECAC New England Division III Coach-of-the-Year after leading the Warriors to an historic season of 44 wins in 47 contensts which included a 36-1 regular-season mark and record 40-game win streak which extended through the opening round of the regional tournament. She was also voted as LEC Coach-of-the-Year  for the third time in five years and fourth time overall since 2006.

In 2011, Pepin became the first coach in 19 years to direct the Warriors to consecutive 30-win seasons. The 2010 team matched the program season (broken in 2012) record of 39 victories, and followed with 35 in 2011. The consecutive trips to the national tournament were also the program's first in 19 years. In 2011, Pepin and her coaching staff were recognized as regional Coaching Staff-of-the-Year for the second time in three seasons by the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA)..

Pepin led the program to a breakthrough season in 2008, the Warriors posting their highest win total in 14 years and returning to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time during her tenure. They followed that up in 2009 by earning a second straight at-large bid to the NCAA tournament -- the first time since 1994 that the club experienced consecutive NCAA berths.

In 2010, the Warriors re-gained a piece of their glorious past by winning their  12th NCAA regional title and chalking up a third-place finish in the NCAA Division III national tournament at Eau Claire, WI.  Additional achievements in 2010 included a first-ever Little East Conference tournament title, and a No. 1 ranking in New England throughout the majority of the season. Pepin was also singled out as LEC Coach-of-the-Year for the third time in the last five years.

Pepin has directed her alma mater to seven consecutive 20-win seasons -- eight in the last nine years -- and at least a share of the LEC regular-season title four times in the last five years -- including outright regular-season titles from 2010 through 2012 -- and a regular-season finish of second or better six times since 2006. In 2012, the Warriors followed up two straight 13-1 LEC regular-season showings with a perfect 14-0 ledger -- the first season of conference perfection by any team in the 17-year history of the championship.

 

 

The Warriors are 81-17 (82.7 percent) in regular-season LEC play over the last seven years have won the last three LEC tournament titles. Eastern's overall record during its five-year run of NCAA appearances is 172-43 (80.0 percent).

 

Pepin is a 1992 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University and a former four-year letterwinner in the softball program, which is the most successful intercollegiate fastpitch softball program in New England history.

 

In 2008, Pepin was named Little East Conference Coach-of-the-Year for the second time in three seasons after leading the Warriors to a share of their first LEC regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Picked to finish fourth in the LEC pre-season coaches’poll in 2009,  Eastern won a program-record 12 of 14 regular-season LEC games and swept defending conference and regional champion Rhode Island College on the final day of the regular season to earn a piece of the regular-season title.

 

Named  on an at-large basis to their 15th NCAA tournament in 2008 – but first since 1998 – the Warriors proved their worth by posting two straight one-run wins after an opening loss in the New York Regional Tournament, one of which eliminated top-seeded and No. 5 nationally-ranked Montclair State University.

Pepin was named the program’s head coach in the spring of 2001 and in only her second full season, returned the Warriors to post-season play when they were named to the ECAC New England Division III tournament.

 

In 2006, the Willimantic native was named LEC Coach-of-the-Year for the first time. That season, the Warriors shared the Little East Conference lead in regular-season wins (11) and earned the No. 2 LEC tournament seed despite being picked for fourth in the coaches’ pre-season poll.

 

Pepin was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter as an infielder in the softball program between 1988 and 1991, helping the Warriors to four regional championships, the championship round of three national tournaments, and the 1990 NCAA Division III national championship. 

 

“I had a tremendous experience as a student and a player at Eastern,” states Pepin, “and I want the new generation of players to have the same opportunity that I was afforded. Eastern is a great place for student-athletes to grow and make the most of their college experience.”

 

Pepin directs a series of fundamental, hitting and pitching clinics each February and March. In the summer of 2008, she served as hitting coach for the Lowell, MA-based New England Riptide in National Pro Fastpitch. In recent years, she has presented at the Mohegan Sun World Softball Coaches’ Convention along with Olympic Gold medalists Cat Osterman and Jennie Finch and former UCLA head coach Sue Enquist.

 

In addition to holding a B.A. Degree in Sociology, Pepin holds a B.S. in Physical Education from Eastern and an. M.S. Degree in Physical Education from Central Connecticut State University.

 

DIANA PEPIN'S 11-YEAR CAREER RECORD
            LEC    
YEAR GP WON LOSS PCT.   W L Trnmt
2011#
47
44
3
93.6
 
14@
0
1st
2011##
42
35
7
83.3
 
13
1
1st
2010##+
46
39
6
.859
 
13
1
1st
2009#
39
26
13
.667
 
10
4
t-5th
2008#
42
28
14
.667
 
12
2
3rd
2007
37
21
16
.568
 
8
6
t-5th
2006
40
21
19
..525
 
11
3
t-5th
2005
41
15
26
.366
 
7
7
2nd
2004
39
21
18
.538
 
8
6
4th
2003*
35
17
18
.486
 
8
6
--
2002
37
19
18
.514
 
8
6
--
CAREER
445
286
158
.644
 
112
42  

#-NCAA Division III Tournament qualifier   ##-National tournament qualifier

*-ECAC Division III New England Tournament qualifier                                                                                                                                   @-First undefeated regular season in conference softball history                                                                                                                    +-Record includes one tie

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