UConn names Laura Valentino as Head Softball Coach
This past Wednesday the University of Connecticut revealed that their search for a new head softball coach was over. David Benedict, the Director of Athletics for UConn, announced that Laura Valentino had been selected to take over the team following her impressive work during her time at Fairfield, Charlotte and Duke.
“We met with several impressive candidates during this interview process but Laura set herself apart with her energy, passion and preparation,” Benedict said. “During her time as an assistant coach, Laura has enjoyed a great deal of success and the experience she gained during the implementation of the Duke softball program should prove invaluable as she endeavors to build a championship culture here at UConn. This is an exciting time for UConn and I know our softball team is in good hands.”
Valentino has spent the last two years in Durham, North Carolina with Duke’s softball program as an assistant coach. While with the team, she focused on catching, infield play, and offensive strategy. Duke’s softball program kicked off with the 2018 season, where Valentino helped the team achieve 29 wins, landing them as the No. 7 seed in the ACC Tournament. The offense finished with 73 doubles, second in their league and 401 hits, fifth in their league. Over her two seasons with Duke, the team went 54-58.
Prior to her work with Duke, Valentino worked with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for three seasons. While there, she focused on offensive and defensive development and strategy, along with catching. The team collected 30+ wins in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Before landing in Charlotte, she spent three seasons at Fairfield, where she worked with the offense, defense, pitching, catching and aided in recruiting and administrative duties.
“I am so honored and excited to be the next head softball coach at UConn,” Valentino said. “I want to thank David, Adrianne Swinney, Jamelle Elliott and their staff for this amazing opportunity and I am looking forward to working with them in building a championship culture at UConn. The future is bright for UConn softball and I can’t wait to get to work in achieving greatness on and off the field.”
Valentino graduated from Hofstra University in 2011 with a degree in physical education, and later went on to earn her master’s in special education from Fairfield in 2013. While at Hofstra, she was a member of the softball team as a designated player, infielder and catcher. She received the Hofstra University Outstanding Senior Athlete award, and landed a spot on the NFCA Scholar-Athlete Team. She grew up in Smithtown, N.Y. and was inducted into the Smithtown High School Hall of Fame in 2014.
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