Valparaiso University Director of Athletics Dr. Charles Small announced today the hiring of Meaggan Pettipiece as the next head coach for the Valpo softball program. Pettipiece brings over a decade of experience as a collegiate head coach, most recently at the Division I level as head coach at Akron.
“I am excited to have Meaggan and her family join the Valpo family,” Small said. “Our softball program needs a head coach who is a builder and someone who will implement a strategy that will help elevate our program. Meaggan will draw on a range of experiences within the sport, including her time as an athlete on the Canadian Olympic team and coaching positions she has held at a range of institutions, to help provide an extraordinary experience for our student-athletes. I am looking forward to partnering with Meaggan as we build a softball program that will make our alumni, supporters and stakeholders proud.”
Pettipiece took over as head coach at Akron in August 2019 and served as the Zips’ head coach the next three seasons. She revamped the culture within the program and guided the team through the COVID-19 pandemic. On the field, the program won 13 games in MAC play last season after winning just three the season prior to Pettipiece’s arrival. A pair of freshmen from her first full recruiting class were MAC All-Freshman Team honorees in 2022, one of whom was a Second Team All-MAC choice as well.
“I am extremely excited to join the Valparaiso family,” Pettipiece said. “I would like to thank Dr. Charles Small for giving me the opportunity to be the next leader of the Beacons softball program. I am grateful and honored. I cannot wait to start working with our amazing student-athletes, the coaching staff and the administration. Those I have already met have made me feel at home. This opportunity also could not have been made possible with the love and support of my family and friends. We are eagerly looking forward to becoming part of the Valparaiso community.”
Prior to her time at Akron, Pettipiece spent three seasons (2017-2019) as an assistant coach at Kent State, where she worked primarily on baserunning, with the outfielders defensively and with the slappers offensively. In her three seasons with the Golden Flashes, Kent State made a pair of postseason appearances, including an NCAA Tournament trip in 2017 following a MAC Tournament title. Pettipiece mentored a pair of All-MAC outfielders and helped the program’s offense and fielding reach new heights.
“We are thrilled to have Meaggan on board and to welcome her to the Valpo family,” Executive Associate Athletic Director Sarah Pruess said. “Under Meaggan’s leadership, the softball program will be well-positioned to build on the positive momentum and the steps forward it took last season.”
Pettipiece served as head coach for 10 seasons (2007-2016) at Northwood University. She won 217 games over her 10 years at the helm of the Timberwolves program, including 138 wins in GLIAC play — a program record for conference wins by a head coach. Her 2011 team won a program-record 19 games in conference action. Pettipiece coached 14 All-Conference and two All-Region honorees in her time at Northwood, while her 2013 and 2014 teams both ranked in the top-10 nationally among D-II programs for team GPA.
A two-time All-American and two-time Academic All-American, Pettipiece played collegiately at California University of Pennsylvania, helping the Vulcans win the Division II national championship in 1998. A multi-sport athlete, Pettipiece also played basketball and tennis for Cal U. After her graduation in 2000, she stayed in the program as an assistant coach through 2006.
Pettipiece’s playing career went beyond college softball, as she played softball in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney as a member of Team Canada and was an alternate for the 2004 Olympic squad. She earned two silver medals at the Pan-American Games in 1999 and 2003 and was a silver medalist with Team Canada at the 2001 Pan-American Softball Championships. Pettipiece also played professionally for the Michigan Ice of National Pro Fastpitch.