June 27, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bonnie Skrenta, the head coach at DePauw University for the last 10 years, has been named the new head coach at Bucknell, director of athletics and recreation John Hardt announced Wednesday. Skrenta guided DePauw to five NCAA Tournament appearances, and she leaves as the program's all-time winningest softball coach with a 280-127-2 (.687) record.
Skrenta oversaw quite a turnaround during her tenure at DePauw. The Tigers finished 12-24-1 in the season before she assumed the head coaching duties at the age of 24. By her third season DePauw was back on the winning side of the ledger with a 19-18-1 record, and in year No. 4 the Tigers finished 31-10 and a perfect 12-0 in the Southern College Athletic Conference.
In 2007, Skrenta's squad finished 37-7 overall, 11-1 in the conference, and earned the program's very first NCAA Division III Tournament berth. The 2007 squad also crowned the school's first All-American, and the 37 wins established a new program record, only to be surpassed a year later when the team finished 40-4. DePauw hit the 40-win mark again in 2010 when it went 40-9.
DePauw made five straight NCAA Regional Tournament appearances from 2007-11, and the Tigers advanced to the Division III College World Series in 2007, 2010 and 2011. The 2008 squad was ranked No. 1 in the nation at one point late in the season and produced a 37-game winning streak.
Skrenta was a three-time NFCA Central Region Coach of the Year. During her 10 years at DePauw she mentored three All-Americans, one Honda Division III Athlete of the Year finalist, 27 all-region players, 36 all-conference selections and four conference players of the year. In addition, each of her last six teams at DePauw posted a combined grade-point average of at least 3.32.
"I am pleased and excited to welcome Bonnie Skrenta to the Bison Athletics family," said Hardt. "Bonnie has built a very highly respected Division III program at DePauw, which is a high-quality academic institution. We feel that everything she has done to raise the profile of the DePauw softball program will translate well at Bucknell."
"I am extremely excited to come to Bucknell and become a part of this wonderful academic and athletic tradition," said Skrenta. "I am very grateful to John Hardt for giving me the opportunity to lead the Bison softball program. It is a tremendous responsibility, but I am ready to get going and help move this program back to the top of the Patriot League. The facilities here are first-class, and everyone that I have met so far has been extremely welcoming and supportive. They definitely want the softball program to be successful here. To have the opportunity to work with the best and brightest student-athletes every day is really inspiring, and I can't wait to get to know all of them."
Since arriving at DePauw in 2002, Skrenta has also served as a part-time faculty member in the department of kinesiology, where she taught classes in aerobic conditioning and free weights. She was a member of the school's Eating Disorder Interdisciplinary Task Force and was an advisor to the Peer Mentor Leadership Program.
Beyond her coaching and teaching duties, Skrenta also served as a member of the NCAA Central Region Ranking Committee and All-Region Committee. She sat on the NFCA All-America Committee in 2011 and was a member of the NCAA Championship Committee in 2012.
Skrenta was an outstanding student-athlete herself. She started her undergraduate career at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where she played varsity basketball and softball and earned NFCA Third Team All-Region honors on the diamond. Prior to her junior year she transferred to Providence College, where she was a two-year member of the Friars' Division I program. She captained the team as a senior in 2000 and received the Paul Connolly Award for Distinguished Student-Athletes. Skrenta graduated cum laude from Providence with a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics.
Skrenta went on to earn a masters degree in exercise and sport studies from Smith College in 2002. While at Smith she served as a graduate assistant softball coach and completed a teaching fellowship.
The Bucknell softball team won the Patriot League championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history in 2010. The team has fallen short of the Patriot League Tournament in each of the last two seasons, but the Bison will return eight starters from a very young squad in Skrenta's first season in 2013.
From Bucknell Athletic Communications