Head softball coach Maria DiBernardi retired, following 34 seasons in which she amassed an all-time record of 880–758–12, including three 40-win seasons. The winningest coach in program history, DiBernardi led the Wildcats to 17 Big East Tournament appearances and three second-place finishes since the inception of the tournament in 1990.

Her impact on the sport extended beyond the field, including serving as the president of the Big East Conference Softball Com­mit­tee from 1997 until 2000. DiBernardi strove to create well-rounded student-­athletes through a strong personal support system for her team, from frequent individual meetings with her players to holiday dinners at her home, that stayed with her players long after graduation, even inspiring many former players to pursue successful coaching careers.

“Maria’s dedication and loyalty to Villa­nova has left a legacy few could ever match. We cannot thank her enough for all of her contributions to Villanova softball, the Athletics Department and the entire University,” says Director of Athletics Mark Jackson.

Maria’s the epitome of what it means to be a Wildcat.”

Jessica O’Donnell, associate head coach