As she begins her sixth season at the helm of the Yale softball program in 2017-18, Jen Goodwin has the Bulldogs on the rise. Yale has improved its Ivy League record from the previous season in each of the last three years. In 2017, the Bulldogs finished with their best Ivy League record since 2009 and entered the last day of the regular season still in contention for the North Division title. Five players from the 2017 team earned All-Ivy recognition, the most selections for Yale since 2011.
Over the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have won 19 Ivy League games, the best two-year stretch went to the 20-game format in 2007.
Goodwin made an immediate impact when she arrived in New Haven. In her first year, she led a squad that belted a school record 31 home runs. Goodwin also mentored catcher Sarah Onorato, who had one of the finest seasons in school history. Onorato was named the Ivy League Player of the Year, the first Yale player to win the award since Seema Hingorani in 1991.
In 2015, Goodwin led a team that featured five freshmen or sophomores in the regular lineup to 11 victories.
The Bulldogs also have shined in the classroom under Goodwin, earning All-Academic Team honors from the NFCA three times and had numerous players earn academic honors from CoSIDA, the NFCA and the Ivy League.
Prior to Yale, Goodwin spent two years as the Assistant Executive Director for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. At the NFCA, her primary duties included managing the curriculum for the Association’s Coaches College, developing the NFCA’s new recruiting tournaments, which launched in the summer of 2011, and serving as the director of the StrikeOut Cancer program which raised more the $250,000 in two years.
Goodwin has extensive Ivy League coaching experience. She spent two years as an assistant at Harvard, recruiting two-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Rachel Brown and helping guide the Crimson to the 2007 Ivy League title, and was Dartmouth’s interim head coach in 2004.
“I truly believe in the Ivy League philosophy and all that it stands for and couldn’t be more excited with all that Yale has to offer," Goodwin said.
In her two years as an assistant to Jenny Allard at Harvard, the Crimson won 56 games, including a 28-12 mark in Ivy League play, and captured the North Division title each year. In 2007, Harvard advanced to the NCAA Tournament, dropping a pair of one-run games at the Hofstra Regional. In addition to recruiting Brown, who holds virtually every Harvard pitching record, Goodwin worked closely with Harvard’s hitters, who improved in every statistical category both years.
“I pride myself on being a teacher of the fundamentals,” Goodwin said. “I look forward to getting into the cages with the hitters especially, working with them on becoming more independent in the batter’s box, and handling their failures. Everyone knows that even the best hitters fail seven out of 10 at bats, so my approach with the hitters will be to help manage those failures.”
At Dartmouth, the Big Green won 17 games and set a school record for home runs in a season under her tutelage. Following her stint at Harvard, Goodwin returned to Dartmouth as the Director of Basketball Operations.
Prior to Harvard, Goodwin spent two seasons as the associate head coach at San Jose State. In addition, she was the head coach at Simmons College (2001-02) and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (1999-2000).
“Jen comes to Yale with exceptional credentials and a very keen understanding of the Ivy League,” Athletics Director Tom Beckett said. “Her career as a student athlete was outstanding and her impact as a coach has likewise been extraordinary.”
A four-year softball letterwinner at Bridgewater State, Goodwin was a three-time All-American at first base, third base and utility. Upon graduation, she ranked fifth in Division III career home runs with 38 and held four career school records – batting average (.464), doubles (46), home runs (38) and RBI (200). She was the 1995 and 1996 ECAC Player of the Year and was inducted into the Bridgewater State Hall of Fame in 2005.
Following graduation, she played for the Stratford Brakettes, where she was a third-team ASA All-American at third base. Goodwin also played two years on the USA Women’s National Baseball team and worked as an instructor at various camps, including four years as a head coach at the Nomar Garciaparra Baseball Camp.