July 17, 2007
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF Director of Athletics and Executive Vice President Keith Tribble announced Monday that the UCF Athletics Association and head softball coach Renee Luers-Gillispie have come to terms on a new contract that will keep the softball program pioneer with the Knights for at least three more seasons. Luers-Gillispie and the UCFAA inked a new deal that lasts until June 30, 2010.
"Coach Luers-Gillispie has done a tremendous job building the UCF softball program to where it presently stands and positioned for great success in the seasons to come," said Tribble. "Year-after-year the softball program has made great strides under her guidance and we are confident that she will be able to continue to compete for future Conference USA championships, trips to the NCAA Regionals and all the way to the Women's College World Series."
Luers-Gillispie started the UCF fast-pitch program in 2002 and has already led the team to the 2005 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Regional Tournament. She has accumulated a 229-162-1 record at the helm of the UCF squad and a career NCAA record of 434-338-3 after posting a 38-26 record in 2007.
"I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to remain a part of UCF athletics and the tremendous strides that are taking place within the athletics association," Luers-Gillispie said. "The growth of the athletics village has provided numerous opportunities for the softball program and will only continue to help our program in the future."
Last season Luers-Gillispie led her team to a third-place finish in the Conference USA Championship held at the UCF Softball Complex. Her team won 11 C-USA games in 2007 compared to only four in its inaugural season in the league in 2006. As a team, the 2007 squad broke 33 game, season and career school records. Pitcher Allison Kime was named to the All-Southeast Region First Team after ranking fourth in the nation in earned-run average (0.87). Additionally, Kime along with Kacie Feaster and Breanne Javier were the first Knights to be recognized with First Team All-C-USA softball honors at the conclusion of the season.
In 2005, Luers-Gillispie guided UCF to the Atlantic Sun Championship, receiving the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Regional Tournament. In the NCAA, the Knights picked up their first postseason win with a 5-3 victory over Florida on the Gators' home field. Over the course of the season, UCF notched wins over No. 8 Washington, No. 20 Florida International and No. 20 Georgia Tech in addition to the program's first win over in-state rival Florida State. Stephanie Best was named A-Sun Player of the Year for the third consecutive year after leading the nation in home runs (26).
Prior to UCF, Luers-Gillispie spent four years building the Texas Tech program. She led the Red Raiders to a No. 17 national ranking in 1998 and a No. 24 ranking the following season.
In her second year as head coach at Bradley in 1994, Luers-Gillispie posted an .805 winning percentage (33-8), which ranked fifth in the nation, and took second place in the Missouri Valley Conference the same year.
Luers-Gillispie began her coaching career at Joliet Junior College where she was the boss from 1991-92. After inheriting a 2-29 team her first season, she transformed the same squad into a NJCAA Regional runner-up with a 32-12 record only a year later, receiving N4C Conference Coach of the Year honors for the feat.
For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.