Northern Iowa has hired Monica Wright as the program’s new pitching coach, sources confirmed to JWOS late Sunday.
Wright spent the last five seasons as the top assistant coach at Valparaiso, including the last three years with the title of associate head coach. She was part of the coaching staff that guided the Crusaders to the NCAA tournament in 2016, and helped engineer a turnaround of the team’s pitching staff. From 2015-18, the Valpo pitchers saw their cumulative ERA drop by more than four runs per game.
During the 2020 season, Wright’s staff led the Missouri Valley conference in opponent’s batting average and finished third in the league in ERA. Three of the conference’s top nine pitchers in the categories of opponent’s batting average and ERA were Crusaders.
Prior to her stint at Valpo, Wright spent four years on staff at Bowling Green, guiding the Falcons’ pitching staff to a 2.55 ERA during her tenure. In 2013, the Falcons led the Mid-American Conference in ERA with a 2.17 mark. Her coaching resume also includes a single season on staff at Elon and time as a private instructor.
As a player at Indiana, Wright made 124 appearances in three years as a Hoosier. She notched thirty wins and 348 strikeouts during her time in Bloomington and was named to the conference’s All-Academic Team. She ranks in the top six all-time in program history in innings pitched, appearances, and starts. She spent her freshman season at UNI before transferring to IU.
Northern Iowa assembled a 7-14 overall record during the abbreviated 2020 season. The Panthers’ pitching staff recorded a cumulative ERA of 4.22 and collected 88 strikeouts in more than 134 innings of work. Opponents hit .299 against them on the shortened year.