After 25 highly successful seasons in charge of the Hofstra softball program, coach Bill Edwards retired last May. Now, Edwards will headline the 2015 inductees to the Hofstra Athletics Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made on Hofstra Softball Alumnae Day. Edwards was honored with a banner on the outfield wall next to the retired numbers of former Hofstra players.
After taking over the program in 1990, Edwards has a remarkable resume built on incredible team accomplishments in addition to personal accolades. Most importantly, Edwards transformed the Hofstra softball program from an afterthought into a national powerhouse.
From his first season as coach in 1990 to his final season, last year, the Pride never finished with a losing record. Edwards finished his career with a remarkable 928 wins and only 419 losses, making him the most successful coach in the history of Hofstra Athletics.
He won a total of 20 coach of the year awards and his teams captured 18 conference championships, cementing his place in Hofstra Athletics history.
Edwards’s coaching helped guide five players to All-American honors, including assisting pitcher Olivia Galati to first team All-American honors in 2012, the first honor of such in Hofstra softball history. In 2013, Coach Edwards led Hofstra to a school-record 46 wins and an impressive 3-2 showing in the NCAA Columbia Regional, coming just one win short by losing in the regional title game.
2004 and 2012 also marked notable campaigns for the Pride as they came within one win of making the Women’s College World Series in both years. The Pride also attained rankings in the final national poll four times during Edwards’s coaching career.
Coach Edwards has already been inducted into, and honored by, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 for his coaching career in softball. Edwards also excelled in coaching softball at the high school level, where he led Commack High School to the 1988 Long Island championship.
Additionally, Edwards was inducted into the Iona Hall of Fame in 1989 for his excellence in coaching men’s hockey. Edwards also has experience in coaching football and baseball at the high school level.
All-American Alicia Smith, in a Newsday interview, said Edwards convinced her, overnight, to play for Hofstra instead of the University of Vermont.
“I was supposed to sign my national letter of intent with Vermont. The night before I got a phone call to visit Hofstra, that was it. I switched gears. It was such a powerful impression. He’s very powerful. He has such an amazing presence,” said Smith.
When asked about what drove him, Edwards simply said the following, “Part of my game plan for life is never settle for mediocrity. I always want to do the best I can do to the highest level I can achieve.”
Coach Edwards did just that.