Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced Tuesday, August 7, 2018 the hiring of former Ohio University head coach Jodi Hermanek to lead the University of Pittsburgh softball program.
With 397 career wins and 14 years of NCAA Division I head coaching experience under her belt, including the past 10 with the Bobcats, Hermanek becomes just the third head coach in Pitt softball history. She takes over the Panthers after a successful 2018 season in which the squad won the program’s first ACC Coastal Division Title and reached the ACC Tournament Championship Game for the second time in four years.
“I would like to thank Heather Lyke for this incredible honor to lead the Pitt Panthers,” said Hermanek. “Jennifer Tuscano and the entire search committee have been exceptional throughout this process and have exemplified the shared Gold Standard vision. My family and I are so excited and thankful to be a part of the Pitt family.
“I am a passionate coach. I value student-athlete development and look forward to building a championship culture of family and excellence from day one. I am ready to build upon a program that consists of strong student-athletes who will continue be competitive in the ACC and nationally. I will instill in my athletes that my expectation is that they leave this program better than when they arrived. I look forward to meeting my team, members of the athletic department and Panther nation.”
For the last 10 years, Hermanek has guided the Ohio University softball program to success at both the conference and national level. She has led the team to two NCAA postseason appearances (2018, 2014), including the first in 19 years, as well as two Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament Championships (2018, 2014), a MAC Regular Season Championship (2018) and three MAC East Division Championships (2018, 2017, 2011).
Most recently, Hermanek coached the Bobcats to a 40-17 overall record in 2018, marking the second consecutive season with 40-plus wins. They went on to win a MAC Regular Season Championship, as well as the MAC Tournament Championship, giving Ohio an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament and Knoxville Regional. Ohio battled in the tournament, reaching the regional championship game where they clashed with perennial powerhouse Tennessee. For their success, Hermanek and her staff were named the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaching Association East Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
“We are proud to welcome Jodi Hermanek as our new head softball coach at Pitt,” said Lyke. “We have great expectations for this program and conducted a national search for a new leader who is prepared and confident in their ability to exceed those expectations. We found that leader in Coach Hermanek.
“Coach Hermanek brings a tremendous amount of head coaching experience to Pitt. For the past decade, she created a culture of excellence and built and sustained success athletically and academically at Ohio University. In 2018 she led her team to a 40-win season, regular-season and tournament championships and an NCAA Regional appearance. Given the momentum of our current softball team, I am confident Coach Hermanek’s expertise and drive to win will allow us to take our program to new heights. I look forward to our staff, student-athletes, donors and fans welcoming Coach Hermanek and her family to the city of Pittsburgh."
Hermanek coached six Bobcats to nine NFCA All-Region Honors, 22 student-athletes to 39 All-MAC athletic awards and two MAC Pitchers of the Year. Off the field, she has had numerous players earn Academic All-MAC honors and be named to the MAC Honor Roll.
Prior to her time at Ohio University, Hermanek spent four years at Southern Utah University where she guided the Thunderbirds to unprecedented success. She led SUU to its first NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back showings in 2006 and 2007, as well as two regular season Mid-Continent Conference Championships and a pair of Mid-Con Tournament Titles.
A four-year varsity softball letterwinner at Colorado State University-Pueblo from 1995-99, Hermanek earned a degree in English in 2000. She later received a Master of Science in kinesiology with an emphasis on coaching in 2006 from Texas Woman’s University.
Hermanek is married to Dr. David Horton Jr. Together they have a daughter, Emma Fay.