Holly Aprile had been a successful head coach of softball before her decision to come to Louisville as new head softball coach in July of 2018. At Pittsburgh, she led the program to their first ACC Coastal Division title in 2018 and was named ACC Coach of the Year for that season. In the prior season, she led Pitt to their first national ranking in program history. Once Sandy Pearsall retired after the 2018 season, Athletic Director Vince Tyra went out and landed one of the hottest softball coaches around in Aprile. Now, she has signed an extension to remain head coach of Louisville softball through the 2026 season.
Since taking over the program, Coach Aprile has had some major success, leading the Cards to a NCAA Tournament regional final in 2019. Former player Megan Hensley received the program’s first all-region team selection from the NFCA in 2019 as well. 2019 also saw UofL pick up two victories over 3rd-ranked Florida State. The Cards series win against the Seminoles was the first since 2012 for any opponent over FSU.
Coach Aprile will now look to continue to build on her success with the softball program. She’s had several victories over excellent opponents and her Cards have given perennial power Florida State fits since she took over as head coach. The program is in good hands with Coach Holly Aprile.
Below, you can read about the contract extension, including what Coach Aprile had to say, in UofL’s press release:
The University of Louisville Athletic Association Board of Directors approved a contract extension for softball head coach Holly Aprilethrough the 2026 season.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead the softball program at the University of Louisville,” said Aprile. “Our goals are to compete for both an ACC and NCAA Championship. With the amazing support of Vince Tyra, Amy Calabrese, Rachael Cosgrove, as well as Dr. Neeli Bendapudi and the ULAA Board, we will continue our work to achieve those goals. Louisville is rich in winning traditions. My staff and I are honored to be part of this community and proudly wear the Louisville red and black.”
Aprile is entering her fourth season as UofL’s head coach. During her time at Louisville, which includes the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, the Cardinals have amassed 66 wins and reached the 2019 NCAA regional finals while setting multiple school records along the way.
“Holly has made a quick impact on our softball program,” said Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “Her recent recruiting shows great promise for the future. Continuity goes a long way toward developing championship programs and this contract extensions will help solidify that continuity.”
Under Aprile’s tutelage, the Cardinals have produced three National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Southeast Region selections with Megan Hensley earning first team honors in 2019, becoming the first player in program history to do so since the Cardinals moved into the region. After the 2020 season was cut short due to the spread of COVID-19, UofL added two more all-region honorees in 2021 with Carmyn Greenwood named to the first team and Taylor Roby selected to the second team. Both players also earned all-ACC accolades.
In 2021, the Cardinals amassed 21 wins, in the midst of a challenging slate. Among the season highlights were three wins and one tie against top-25 teams including a win and a tie against eventual Women’s College World Series runner-up Florida State.
In her first year at the helm, the Cardinals earned an at-large bid to the 2019 NCAA tournament and a regional final appearance. The team amassed a 35-23 overall record and a 12-12 mark in ACC play for a third-place finish in the league’s Atlantic Division and fifth in the overall conference standings. Louisville’s 35 wins marked the most victories in a season since 2016 when the Cards posted a 35-17 record.
Among the Cardinals’ 2019 highlights were six wins over teams ranked in the top 25 including a pair of contests against then-No. 3/3 Florida State. With the series win, Louisville became the first ACC team to claim a series against the Seminoles since 2012.
Leading the way
Over the last three seasons, the Cardinals have set several school single season marks and ranked among the ACC and NCAA leaders in numerous categories.
• The 2019 squad established a new stolen base record with 106, obliterating the previous mark of 68.
• Additionally, 2019 All-ACC selection Sidney Melton set a school stolen base record with 35 on the season.
• Louisville also led the nation in triples per game with 31 in 58 contests in 2019.
• Celene Funke ranked first in the NCAA with 13 triples in 2019 – also a program record for a player in a single season.
• In the 2021 campaign, Carmyn Greenwood led the ACC and ranked 15th in the NCAA in hits.
In the classroom
Aprile’s Louisville teams have also been impressive in the classroom, placing seven players on the All-ACC Academic Teams in the two seasons in which the award was given.
• Most recently, UofL posted a 3.381 team GPA during the 2020-21 academic year with 14 players named NFCA Scholar Athletes.
• In total, 19 student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or better with seniors Celene Funke and Carmyn Greenwood garnering All-ACC Academic Team honors in 2021.
• With the season halted in 2020, Louisville softball continued to excel in the classroom with a 3.557 team GPA in the spring. Funke went on to earn her fourth consecutive CoSIDA Academic All-America nod.
• The 2019 squad also turned in impressive results in the classroom as the team produced a combined 3.157 grade point average for the academic year and garnered NFCA Academic Team honors with five All-America Scholar Athletes.
• In addition, Louisville placed five on the 2019 All-ACC Academic Team, tied for the most among league schools. Funke was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team for the second straight year. Funke and Melton were also CoSIDA Academic All-District selections.