Swarthmore College Marian Ware Director of Physical Education and Athletics Adam Hertz announced today that Melissa Finley has been named the new softball coach for the Garnet. Finley replaces Renee Clarke, who coached the program for 12 seasons.
"Melissa brings a wealth of experience with her from her time as a student-athlete at Princeton and also from her time coaching at Penn, Colgate, and with the Canadian Women's National team," Hertz says. "Her background gives her a clear understanding of the Swarthmore student-athlete."
Finley is coaching Team Canada's Elite Team this summer at the Canada Cup and was a member of the national team for several years as an athlete.
"I would like to thank Adam Hertz for the incredible honor of being named the next head softball coach at Swarthmore College," Finley says. "Throughout this whole process, the Swarthmore athletics community has been extremely supportive. They have a strong vision for the future of the softball program and I am looking forward to getting started on building a perennial challenger in the Centennial Conference. I am dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the classroom, in the community, and on the softball diamond and I look forward to sharing those standards with the student-athletes here at Swarthmore."
Finley worked as the head coach of NCAA Division I Colgate University for five seasons and advanced to the Patriot League Tournament in 2013 and 2015. Prior to that, she coached at the University of Pennsylvania for four seasons as an assistant coach.
Finley played at Princeton University and graduated as the school's all-time leader in home runs with 37 in her career. Her 14 home runs in 2003 led her to earning Ivy League Player of the Year honors. The collegiate power-hitter could also get the job done in the circle, winning 22 games as a pitcher.
Swarthmore Softball went 15-21 in 2017 and has improved its record by five games in each of the past two seasons. The Garnet return three all-conference players, all rising sophomores — Kennedy Kings, Kalli Segel, and Emilie Morse — and are slated to bring in 10 first-year players.