BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Former Lady Topper Amy Tudor, who posted a .680 winning percentage at the helm of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne for the past four seasons, has been named head coach of the Western Kentucky University softball team, Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced Thursday.
Tudor returns to The Hill with nine years of head coaching experience, including stops at IPFW, Belmont University and Ohio Wesleyan University, and recently guided IPFW to its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance at the Louisville Regional after winning the Summit League Tournament.
"We are very excited to name Amy Tudor our new head softball coach," Stewart said. "Her nine seasons as a head coach have been marked by consistent success, including posting a .680 winning percentage over the last four years at IPFW which included taking the program to their first-ever NCAA Tournament last season. She accomplished this with only one full-time assistant coach and less resources than we have. I am confident she is the perfect person to accelerate our program's growth and lead us to new heights. Eleven years after she graduated from WKU as a six-time member of the Dean's List, it is great to have Amy back on The Hill as our head softball coach!"
"First off, I would like to thank IPFW for all the support given to me and the softball program for the past four years," Tudor said. "The chance to return to Western Kentucky University is a very humbling and exciting opportunity. I am very grateful to Todd Stewart for entrusting me to continue the success of the WKU softball program. "
Tudor took over the IPFW program beginning with the 2010 season, inheriting a team with a 14-24 record and ranked 265 in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) in 2009. Since then, she has improved the RPI to 203 (2010), 156 (2011), 78 (2012) and 89 (2013). Winning the league tournament in 2013, the Mastodons have been regular-season runner-up in 2010 and 2012 and tournament runner-up in 2012.
WKU and IPFW have both seen recent success with their respective softball programs. The Lady Toppers have a .578 winning percentage over the last four years, a 133-97 record. In her four years at IPFW, Tudor has compiled a 136-64 record with a .680 winning percentage. WKU defeated three non-conference teams in the regular season last year with a top 100 RPI (Missouri, Lipscomb, Eastern Kentucky) and IPFW topped four (Lipscomb, Texas Tech, Ball State, Central Michigan).
During her career in Fort Wayne, Tudor coached 17 All-Conference honorees, 13 All-Summit League Tournament members, two NFCA All-Region picks, four Capital One Academic All-District selections and a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. She also had players chosen as the league tournament Most Valuable Player, Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.
Before going to IPFW, Tudor was the head coach at Belmont University where she helped lead the program to 36 wins, the fifth most in program history, and 11 Atlantic Sun victories, most by a single coach since Belmont joined the league in 2001. In her last season, Tudor helped led the Bruins to an 8-5 record to open the season, including a five-game win streak, the school's longest winning streak since 1999.
Prior to arriving at Belmont, Tudor was the head coach at Division III Ohio Wesleyan University, where she helped guide the Battling Bishops to the regular-season North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) title in her first season. She helped develop the school's first-ever Pitcher of the Year in 2005 and Player of the Year in 2006, as the squad finished as the conference's tournament runner-up in each of her two seasons. Over her two seasons in Delaware, Ohio, she compiled a 45-33 record.
Before Ohio Wesleyan, Tudor was a graduate assistant coach at North Alabama while earning a Master of Arts degree in counseling.
Tudor is a 2002 graduate of WKU with a degree in history and social studies and minor in geography, where she was a three-year team captain, helping the program get off the ground as a member of the school's inaugural softball squad. A collegiate catcher, she holds the school record by throwing out 23 runners attempting to steal in 2002 and is fourth all-time in runners thrown out stealing with 28.
In addition to her prowess on the field, she was equally as strong off of the field, where she was named an All-American Scholar, recipient of the Commissioner's List Award, a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi, and was a six-time member of the Dean's List at WKU.
Tudor spent one season at Motlow State Community College before her arrival at WKU. A member of the softball and basketball team, she hit .370 with 37 RBI, 12 doubles, two home runs and had five stolen bases while not committing an error behind the plate.
Originally from Petersburg, Tenn., Tudor attended Cornersville High School where she graduated as salutatorian. Tudor finished her high school playing career as the all-time leading scorer and assist leader in basketball and was an All-State and All-Mid State selection in softball. In 1998, the high school retired her No. 9 jersey.