NU signs coach to extension

Coley Harvey

Northwestern softball coach Kate Drohan has agreed to a four-year contract extension, athletic director Mark Murphy announced last Friday.

“We are very pleased that Kate has agreed to a contract extension,” Murphy said this week. “She has done an excellent job in building our softball team into a consistent winner in the Big Ten. The future of the program is very bright under her leadership.”

Over the past three seasons, Drohan has led the Wildcats to a 94-57-1 record and consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2003 and 2004.

That was the first time the team had gone to back-to-back NCAA tournaments since the 1984-87 seasons when Sharon Drysdale was coach.

“I am excited about the commitment Northwestern has shown to me, and I’m excited about the mission of the [athletic] department,” Drohan said. “I believe the key components are in place in our program for us to compete at the very highest level.”

Murphy said Drohan’s contract was extended until 2008 because of “the way she has run her program.”

“She’s a solid recruiter, and the team is having success,” he said. “I’ve only worked with her for a year, and I have realized she is someone to keep.”

Drohan said part of the reason she agreed to the extension is because of recruiting. Having a coach with a new contract provides a sense of stability for recruits, she said.

“It gives recruits and young players some security that the coaching staff will not change,” she said.

Drohan began her career at NU in 1998 as an assistant coach under Drysdale. She was promoted to associate head coach three years later. In 2002, she became the second head coach in NU softball history. In 2003, her team had a 36-19 record and finished second in the Big Ten.

Drohan’s twin sister, Caryl, recently was promoted to associate head coach.

“Caryl’s greatest asset is her knowledge on hitting,” Drohan said. “With her as our hitting coach, we have broken all kinds of team and individual home run records.

“It’s nice when you have your sister helping you out. I trust her with the team.”

Drohan also replaced her second assistant coach from last season, Lauren Schwendimann, with former Stanford pitcher Tori Nyberg.

Although the coaching staff has changed a lot this year, Drohan insists the team’s focus and goals have not.

“With the news of this extension we still have the same short- and long-term goals,” she said. “It hasn’t changed our focus.”

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NU signs coach to extension

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Drohan, Murphy say new contract should help with recruiting

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Please see contract, Page 17

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Received a four-year contract extension last week