Softball's Michelle Venturella Earns Contract Extension

Head softball coach Michelle Venturella
Head softball coach Michelle Venturella

March 28, 2012

CHICAGO - UIC Director of Athletics Jim Schmidt announced a three-year contract extension for UIC head softball coach Michelle Venturella Wednesday. The extension will keep Venturella as the Flames' leader through the 2015 season.

"We're very proud of the accomplishments that our softball program has achieved under Coach Venturella," said Athletic Director Jim Schmidt. "She is committed to getting the best out of our student-athletes, not only on the field, but also in the classroom and in the community. Michelle is well-deserving of this extension, and we look forward to having her lead our softball program for years to come."

Venturella is in her fourth season as head coach. Last spring, she led UIC to the Horizon League Tournament Championship, and the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2004. Venturella owns a 44-23 mark in Horizon League play.

The Flames were picked as the preseason favorites to win the 2012 Horizon League Championship, as voted on by the League's 10 head coaches. Currently, the Flames are 14-14 (2-1 Horizon), and tied for second in the League standings.

"I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work at such a great university and with such wonderful people," said Venturella. "Jim (Schmidt) has been very supportive of our program, and I am grateful for that. In such a short time, I have had the opportunity to coach some amazing young women who are truly dedicated to being the best. My staff is dedicated to having a successful program that excels in the classroom and as well as on the field. I'm excited about leading this program into the future and enjoying even more success."

Venturella, who began her career at UIC prior to the 2009 campaign, was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year in her first season, after leading the Flames to a 16-4 record in League play, along with an appearance in the Horizon League championship game. Under Venturella, UIC has earned 13 All-Horizon League selections, including six spots on the First-Team. Additionally, Sarah Clynes was named the 2009 Horizon League Player of the Year.