NEW YORK - Jennifer Teague, former head coach at the University of Buffalo and assistant at Michigan State, was named Columbia’s Head Softball Coach, Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education, announced today.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer to Columbia Athletics,” Murphy said. “Jennifer has significant coaching experience at all levels of collegiate and professional softball. She has experience coaching in the Northeast and has recruited talented student-athletes on the field and off. Jennifer is the right person to lead our softball program.”
Teague coached on the Michigan State staff for the 2013-14 season after serving five-years as the head coach at the University of Buffalo.
In her tenure at the University of Buffalo, where she was just the second head coach in program history, Teague mentored seven All-Mid-American Conference selections. Under Teague, Buffalo received it’s first post-season recognition for a pitcher since 2004 (Tori Speckman), and freshman Alexis Curtiss became just the third Buffalo player ever to be named first team All-MAC in 2012.
“I am honored to be Columbia’s Head Softball Coach,” Teague said. “Everyone I have met through the search process has been incredibly engaged, helpful and enthusiastic. It became quickly evident that Columbia was a special place. I’d like to thank Dianne and Associate Athletics Director Darrice Griffin for this incredible opportunity.”
Ten Buffalo players set single-season program records for the Division I era under her tutelage, while ten individual and nine team single-game records were established during Teague’s tenure.
In 2012, Teague led Buffalo to their best offensive season in school history, setting program bests in batting average, home runs, doubles and total bases. In 2011, Teague helped coach players on to both the All-MAC second team and the All-MAC Freshman Team. Teague led the UB to just their second ever trip to the Mid-American Conference Tournament. In her first season with UB, Teague led the Bulls to a record of 25-27 (7-15 MAC), which tied the most wins in a single season in UB's Division I softball era.
Prior to her time at Buffalo, Teague spent three years as the top assistant and pitching coach at Eastern Michigan. She also spent two seasons as the head coach of the Philadelphia Force of the National Pro Fastpitch League.
At Eastern Michigan, the Eagles had a 70-80 overall record in the three years Teague was on staff, including a 33-25 conference mark. The 2007 team finished first in the MAC West and won the overall MAC Title, making the team's first ever NCAA appearance. During the 2007 season, Teague helped the Eagles to a 2.83 team ERA, including seven shutouts. The pitching staff also limited opposing batters to a .245 average.
Following the 2007 collegiate season, Teague joined the Philadelphia Force of the National Pro Fastpitch League. She took over the coaching reins mid-season when the team was 7-9. With Teague at the helm, the Force went 17-11 and missed the playoffs after coming in a three-way tie for the last spot. While on staff, Teague helped the team lower its ERA and raise its batting average.
Teague remained head coach of the Force for the 2008 season and selected Katie Burkhart in the first round, who was the winning pitcher in the NCAA Championship game, pitching a four-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts.
Prior to joining the Eagles, Teague was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Michigan during the Wolverine's national championship season. The Wolverines were the first team east of the Mississippi River to win a Women's College World Series national championship. Teague was part of a staff that garnered 2005 National Softball Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
A 1999 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, Teague arrived in Ann Arbor following a four-year head coaching stint with local NAIA school Concordia University from 2001-2004. Teague's run at Concordia was highlighted by one regional championship and the school's first-ever appearance in the NAIA National Championship in 2002.
A member of the NFCA, she started her coaching career as an assistant at her alma mater, Indiana Wesleyan, from 1999-2001 following a distinguished playing career, serving as a two-time co-captain. Teague earned NCCAA All-American honorable mention recognition as a senior (1999) after earning NFCA, NAIA and NCCAA All-Region honors as a junior in 1998. She was also her team's Most Valuable Offensive Player in 1998.
“We are committed to achieving excellence in softball and winning Ivy League Championships,” Murphy concluded. “Jennifer is the coach that will help us do that. She will help our student-athletes win on and off the field. We are excited for her to join us.”