GREENVILLE, N.C. –Courtney Oliver, a five-time NCAA Regional participant as an assistant coach, has been appointed head softball coach at East Carolina University according to an announcement by director of athletics Jeff Compher on Friday morning. Oliver’s hiring makes her the fifth head coach in ECU softball program history. She will be introduced to Pirate Nation and the Greenville community on Friday, June 12 at 11:30 a.m. at the ECU Softball Stadium.
“It is my pleasure to announce the hiring of Courtney Oliver as the head coach for the East Carolina Softball program,” Compher stated. “Courtney has excellent experience at the conference and national level as she has been instrumental in helping lead her previous teams to postseason championships and NCAA appearances as both a coach and as a student-athlete. I am confident the qualities that she possesses and her core values represent what we are looking for in our next head coach.”
Oliver brings seven years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to ECU after having spent three years at NC State, with stops at Hofstra, Boston and Monmouth University along the way. In her previous positions, Oliver has gained valuable experience as a pitching and infield coach while also planning and executing practices, serving as a recruiting coordinator, overseeing the team budget, travel, academic support and alumni relations.
“I would like to thank Jeff Compher and his staff for giving me this opportunity,” Oliver said. “I am incredibly excited about leading the East Carolina Softball program and I look forward to taking Pirate Softball in a new direction.
“ECU has such an incredible fan base in Pirate Nation,” Oliver continued. “I am very excited to be starting a new era and putting ECU Softball back on the map as a competitive, NCAA Tournament contender. I would also like to thank all of the student-athletes, coaches and fans at NC State for all of their support over the last three years.”
Under Oliver’s tutelage, the 2015 NC State pitching staff owned a team ERA of 2.61 to rank 34th in the nation and second in the ACC. NC State pitchers did their job in the circle fanning 441 batters for second in the conference. Additionally, the Wolfpack struck out 94 batters looking to lead the league.
The Swansea, Mass., native helped NC State to its first-ever Top-25 finish as the Wolfpack concluded the 2015 season at No. 19 in the final polls after winning the NCAA Regional en route to an appearance in the University of Oregon Super Regional. In her last season with the Wolfpack, Oliver boasted a pair of All-Southeast Region selections in right-handed pitcher Emily Weiman and shortstop Renada Davis. With Oliver’s instruction, Weiman was named ACC Pitcher of the Year in 2013 as well as First Team All-ACC in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The duo went on to be drafted by the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch.
In her three years at NC State, Oliver helped Weiman flourish in the circle as she has earned First Team All-ACC honors on three occasions. Weiman also broke the school record for most complete game shutouts in a single season with 12 during the 2014 season. That total was also the most in the ACC and sixth-best in the NCAA. In 2013, Weiman set new school records in wins (33), appearances (54), starts (52), complete games (42) and innings pitched (323.1). The 33 victories also led the ACC.
“Courtney is an outstanding young coach,” NC State head coach Shawn Rychcik said of his former assistant. “She really knows the game of softball and has a great background in pitching. She has a proven track record of success with pitchers. I know she is going to do a great job. I am very happy for her.”
Oliver has coached her conference’s Pitcher of the Year in four consecutive years (2010-2013). In 2010, as the assistant coach at Boston University, Oliver took Cassidi Hardy under her wing and molded her into the America East Pitcher of the Year. She was also instrumental in April Setterlund’s America East Player of the Year selection as well as an NFCA First Team All-America nod. That year, she helped the Terriers win the America East Championship as well as an appearance in the NCAA Regional.
Her stint at Boston University was followed by two years of service as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Hofstra University. While at Hofstra, Oliver worked with Olivia Galati who garnered Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012. Galati went on to earn NFCA First Team All-America honors in 2012, while leading her team to the CAA title with an appearance in the 2012 Super Regionals.
“Courtney knows what it will take to move this program forward as she has been a part of several top tier softball teams on the east coast,” Compher said. “She has very high expectations for this team and I am confident she will bring her positive energy and passion to East Carolina University. I look forward to introducing Courtney to Pirate Nation and seeing where she will take our program.”
Oliver was an accomplished pitcher and designated player at Hofstra from 2004-08 where she was a four-time NCAA Regional participant. She was part of the Pride as they completed their NCAA-record run of 11 consecutive conference championships. She and her teammates won four conference championships and advanced to two NCAA regional finals, becoming the winningest class in school history.
“What a great hire by East Carolina University,” National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Famer Bill Edwards said of the pitcher he coached for four years at Hofstra. “I am so happy for Courtney and the student-athletes she is about to coach. Courtney was one of those unforgettable players that I knew was destined to become a coach. She is passionate, knowledgeable, caring and driven. East Carolina has not only hired a quality coach, but a very special young lady.”
Oliver finished her collegiate career as a two-time First Team All-CAA player and a two-time All-CAA Tournament Team selection. As a senior, she had the most RBIs (27) in conference games and led the league with a 0.24 ERA to go along with a 5-0 record in CAA games. Overall, she had 40 RBIs with a 10-3 mark, while posting a 1.12 ERA.
She ranks in the school’s Top 10 in RBIs (117) and career strikeouts (258). During her four years at Hofstra, Oliver collected 32 career wins with a pair of no-hitters.
Oliver earned both her bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in communications from Hofstra.