DelPonte announces resignation as head softball coach

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January 17, 2020

Danielle DelPonte, the head coach for the women’s softball team since 2016, announced her resignation in December 2019 to pursue other career options, according to a press release by Brandeis Athletics

“[DelPonte’s] departure is certainly bittersweet for our department, especially for our softball student-athletes,” wrote athletic director Lauren Haynie in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. “She is leaving us with a legacy of success, and a team of students who have demonstrated both academic and athletic success at Brandeis. We are looking forward to the spring season, and to challenge for a championship in the very competitive University Athletic Association (UAA).”

One of DelPonte’s players, shortstop and 2019 First Team All-Association honoree Jolie Fujita ’21, said in an interview with The Hoot, “The announcement about Coach [DelPonte] was extremely sudden. Coach took extreme pride in the program she built and often spoke about how she would never leave us for another school. Knowing that, I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to make the decision to change career paths.”

When asked about Coach DelPonte’s new absence and the upcoming season, pitcher Sydney Goldman ’22, another 2019 First Team All-Association honoree, added in a message to The Hoot, “I think it is going to be pretty different when we all get back to campus and Coach isn’t there. We all bought into the program last year and in the fall, so it is just going to be a learning process for the first couple weeks [of the new season].”

Reflecting on her previous seasons under DelPonte, Fujita shared some of her favorite moments saying, “I don’t have just one favorite memory with Coach. Almost every memory I have with Coach involves laughing until my stomach hurt. She wasn’t just a coach, but she was a friend to me and the rest of the team. She had our backs on and off the field whether it be in the form of relationship advice or how to turn a double play even quicker. Coach made practicing every day fun and entertaining.” 

According to the press release, DelPonte led the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year during the 2018-2019 school year, helping the Judges to a 29-7-1 record, the second most wins in a season in the university’s history. This past season was also just the second time the Judges reached the NCAA Division III tournament, with their first appearance back in 2010. Five of DelPonte’s athletes were also All-UAA selections, including conference Pitcher of the Year Scottie Todd ’20.

During her five years at Brandeis, DelPonte posted a 71-64-1 record in four seasons and helped the Judges to two runner-up finishes in the UAA in 2016 and 2019.

Assistant coach Emily Kraytenberg will serve as the interim coach for the 2020 season, Haynie told The Hoot in an email. Haynie added that the search for a new head coach will begin after the conclusion of the 2020 season. 

Although Coach DelPonte will be missed, Goldman remarked, “I think Coach Em is more than prepared to take over this role and keep the success going from last year.” The team is hopeful for another strong season, and is ready to prosper under new leadership. Fujita and her teammates look to head back to the NCAA Tournament, as she concluded, “The team knows it’s not going to come easy, but we’re all facing the challenge head on. We have a great team dynamic and I’m hopeful for our 2020 season.”

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