AMHERST, Mass. - Kristi Stefanoni was named the head coach of the University of Massachusetts softball program by athletic director John McCutcheon on Saturday.
Stefanoni, 30, had been serving as the interim head coach since the passing of NFCA and UMass Hall of Fame coach Elaine Sortino last August.
"We were incredibly fortunate to select Kristi from a very talented pool of candidates," said McCutcheon. "Her ability to lead the team during a very difficult time combined with her vision to position the program for a successful future made her the clear choice during the search process."
Stefanoni - a 2006 UMass graduate - has been a member of the staff for eight seasons now including six as assistant coach, one as associate head coach (2013) and this past season as interim head coach following her four-year playing career.
"I am extremely honored and proud to be named the head softball coach at the University of Massachusetts," Stefanoni said. "I want to thank (Director of Athletics) John McCutcheon and the consultative committee for believing in my vision for the future of this storied program and for giving me this amazing opportunity. UMass softball is a prideful program with great tradition and I cannot wait to be part of its future."
In 2014, UMass returned to the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament and placed three players on the all-conference teams. The Minutewomen will return 17 letterwinners and eight starters from last season, while adding three highly-decorated high school players from New England and the east coast.
In her eight seasons on the UMass staff, the Minutewomen have a cumulative record of 343-158-4 (.704), winning the Atlantic 10 Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament five times each. In Stefanoni's four years as a player, UMass went 151-64-1 (.715) with three A-10 Championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Super Regional berth in 2006. She has been a part of the program for the last 12 years and 494 victories.