Slidell native Ricciardone named Head Softball Coach at Yale

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Laura Ricciardone
Laura Ricciardone, a Harvard and Pope John Paul II alum, has been elevated to the head coach position at Yale.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Victoria M. “Vicky” Chun, Thomas A. Beckett Director of Athletics, has announced that Laura Ricciardone will be the next head coach of Yale University’s softball program.

Ricciardone joined the Bulldogs’ staff as an assistant coach in June of 2019. She primarily worked with the pitchers, infielders and team defense.

In the spring of 2021, Ricciardone worked with Kelly Kretchman and Kyla Holas on the Team USA Training Camp staff while the USA Olympic Coaching Staff remained with their college programs. Ricciardone assisted in executing practices, training camp and exhibition games during the pandemic-extended training year for Team USA, which went on to win a Silver Medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I am excited for the future of Yale softball under Laura’s leadership. As an All-Ivy standout at Harvard, she has first-hand knowledge and experience of what it takes to win at an academically elite institution such as Yale,” said Chun, “Laura’s experience with USA Softball and her experiences in coaching and recruiting for Yale, University of South Florida and Boston University will undoubtedly bring success for our Bulldogs.”

Prior to joining Yale, Ricciardone was the assistant coach, recruiting coordinator and camp director for Ken Eriksen at the University of South Florida. In her three years with the Bulls, the program captured the American Athletic Conference (AAC) regular season title in 2018 and 2019 and won NCAA Regional games in both 2018 and 2019. In addition, USF was selected as the American’s Coaching Staff of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. During her tenure, she coached an All-American, and an AAC Rookie, Pitcher and Defensive Player of the Year.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be the next Head Coach of Yale Softball. I would like to thank our Athletic Director Vicky Chun and Deputy Athletic Director Ann-Marie Guglieri for their support, trust and the opportunity to build a championship-level program here at Yale,” said Ricciardone. “It takes a village and my support system of family, friends and mentors is unmatched. It is pure joy to have the opportunity to lead and develop the student-athletes of Yale Softball. I’m eager to get to work and thrilled to be able to continue my career here at Yale with world class student-athletes and leadership. Go Bulldogs!”

Prior to South Florida, Ricciardone spent one season as an assistant coach at Boston University where she helped lead the Terriers to the Patriot League Championship and an NCAA Regional appearance. She also mentored the 2016 Patriot League Pitcher of the Year.

As a pitcher at Harvard, Ricciardone earned All-Ivy League honors in all four seasons with the Crimson, including first team honors in 2014 and 2015 when she also was named to the NFCA Northeast Region third team.

Ricciardone led the Crimson to a pair of Ivy League championships (2011, 2012), was a two-time team captain and earned NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete honors twice.

Ricciardone earned a BA in psychology from Harvard in 2015 and holds a Master of Business Administration from South Florida in 2018.

What they are saying about Coach Ricciardone:

Ken Eriksen, USF Head Coach and Former USA National Team Head Coach
“Yale has hit a home-run with Laura Ricciardone being named the next head softball coach. Laura has a tremendous capacity to communicate the intricacies of the game to the student athletes that play for her. More importantly she is a teacher, not just a coach, that will mentor the young women at Yale through their college years and she will be there for them for the rest of their lives.”

“Laura’s time at USF and helping me with our Olympic Team will hopefully lend those experiences to her successes in being not just the Ivy League flagship program for softball but also a national household name.”

Eve Rosenbaum, Director of Baseball Operations for the Baltimore Orioles
“As a teammate, Laura was a fearless competitor with one of the best work ethics I have ever seen on a softball or baseball field. As a coach, she continues to be a student of the game, and it’s been a pleasure swapping player evaluation and development advice. I know she wants to pass her knowledge and drive on to the next generation of Ivy softball players, so Yale is lucky to have her.”

Valerie Arioto, 2020 Olympic Silver Medalist, 4x WBSC World Champion, 4x World Cup Gold Medalist
“There is literally no better hire than Laura Ricciardone! Not only is she a remarkable coach on the field but has a heart of gold. Her intelligence, humility, and experience in the Ivy League as a coach and student athlete herself make her second to none. She is well respected in the softball community by coaches and athletes at all levels.”

“I have always looked up to Laura as a professional, friend, and genuine soul. These athletes have a true leader and mentor, and I am so excited to watch Laura and the Bulldogs journey!”

Ashley Waters, Head Coach at Boston University
“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Laura as a student-athlete at Harvard and coaching alongside her at Boston University. She is a true student of the game with a passion for growth & learning. She strives to be the best at everything she does and is committed to developing her student athletes. Laura will understand the academic commitment of an Ivy League student while challenging them to compete for championships on the field. Laura’s fierce competitiveness will create a culture of excellence at Yale.”

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