Zero Distraction

Past Recipients

Lori Harrigan-Mack (2017)
Leah O'Brien-Amico (2016)

Credit: NFCA

Teams: Indiana University, Bloomington 1980-1987 University of Iowa 1988-2010

Gayle Blevins enjoyed 31 seasons as a Division I head coach, including the last 23 at the University of Iowa. Blevins is presently the sixth winningest coach in Division I history with a record of 1,245-588-5. Her 1,245 wins still rank as the seventh most in Division I record books.

As a head coach, Blevins led her teams to seven Women's College World Series appearances (four at Iowa), won eight Big Ten titles (five at Iowa), been named both the Big Ten and National Coach of the Year.

She is a member of three Halls of Fame after recently being inducted into the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame Class on Sept. 2, 2016. Prior to her recent honor, she was inducted into both the Indiana University and NFCA Halls of Fame. 

The 1995 season proved to be an extraordinary one for Blevins and her Hawkeye squad. After receiving an at-large big to the NCAA Tournament, the Hawkeyes became the nation's Cinderella story. Iowa advanced to its first NCAA Women's College World Series after defeating No. 8 Cal State Sacramento, 3-0, and twice beating No. 5 Fresno State (1-0 and 2-1 in nine innings). At the World Series, the Hawkeyes lost to No. 2 UCLA but rallied back to beat No. 9 Michigan, 9-7 in 14 innings and No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, 6-5 in nine innings. Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes fell short in their quest for a national championship, losing to UCLA in the national semifinals.

Blevins never had a losing season in her 31-year career. During her time in Iowa City, Blevins guided Iowa to 40 or more wins 13 times, including three seasons with 50-plus victories. Under her direction, the Hawkeyes finished in the top three in the Big Ten every year but five from 1989-2010 and her Iowa teams never finished lower than fifth in the conference.

Blevins came to the University of Iowa after a successful career at Indiana University, where she led the Hoosiers from 1980-87 and compiled an impressive 301-146 (.670) record. She led Indiana to the Women's College World Series three times where they finished third in 1986, fifth in 1983 and second in 1980, when the series was a part of the AIAW.

Blevins, a native of Dayton, OH, is a 1973 graduate of the University of Dayton. After graduating cum laude with a degree in health and physical education, she taught and coached at Dayton's Stebbins High School. Five years later she went on to Indiana University where she earned her master's degree in administration while serving as IU's assistant softball coach. She was named Indiana's head coach during the 1979-80 season.

TPW Fastpitch ELITE Life Award