*Bio Credit: Hofstra
Bill Edwards crafted a remarkable career as Hofstra’s softball coach from 1990 to 2014 that spanned 1,350 games. He posted a 928-419-3 record and led Hofstra to all 15 of the program’s NCAA Tournament appearances. Under his guidance, Hofstra captured 18 postseason conference championships, including 10 Colonial Athletic Association titles.
Edwards’ extraordinary run of success led to his 2009 enshrinement in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. During his tenure, the Pride never posted a losing record and finished at least 10 games better than .500 in 23 of his 25 seasons. In February 2014 Edwards earned career victory No. 900, making him just the 23rd Division I coach in history to reach 900 career wins and he finished his career with a .687 winning percentage. He is the winningest coach of any program in the history of the Hofstra Department of Athletics.
His career record places him in elite company in the sport’s history. Despite starting his collegiate softball coaching career after a successful stint as a college hockey coach at Iona and as a coach and educator for three decades in the Commack school district on Long Island, Edwards is currently ranked 21st on the NCAA Division I Softball Coaches all-time victories list.
Edwards was named the Regional Coach of the Year 12 times in his career (1993-95, 1997, 2000, 2003-05, 2007-08, and 2012-13). He earned CAA Coach of the Year six consecutive seasons from 2008 to 2013 and was the America East Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1999.
Under his tutelage five playersearned All-America honors from the NFCA – twice by Crystal Boyd (1993, 1994) and Olivia Galati (2012, 2013), and once by Alicia Smith (2000), Lisa Ciavardini (2000) and Amanda Hallaway (2003). Galati was the program’s first-ever first-team All-American in 2012.
Hofstra twice came within one victory of making the Women’s College World Series under Edwards. In 2004 the Pride won four games, including a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Stanford, en route to the regional final. In 2012 Hofstra defeated UCLA and San Diego State (twice) to win the NCAA Los Angeles Regional. Hofstra’s first-ever regional title propelled the team into the Super Regionals against South Florida, where the Pride took Game 1 with a 2-1 win in 11 innings before a pair of 2-1 losses ended the run just short of Oklahoma City.
In 2013 Edwards led Hofstra to a school-record 46 wins en route to winning the CAA regular season and tournament championships. Hofstra went 3-2 in the NCAA Columbia Regional, advancing to the finals by defeating Oregon State twice and forcing an elimination game against No. 8 Missouri via a 10-0 (5 inn.) win before falling in the regional title game.
The Pride, which earned national rankings in the final poll in four seasons, won 25 NCAA Tournament games under Edwards including victories over perennial power programs such as UCLA, Nebraska, Stanford, Missouri, South Florida, Oklahoma State and Arizona State.
Edwards has been recognized for his fantastic career by numerous organizations. He is a 1989 Iona Hall of Fame inductee for leading the men’s hockey team to a 123-50-11 record in 11 seasons (1968-79), including a 33-14-3 varsity team record when the program was elevated in status for the 1976-77 season. In May 2014 he was inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.
Before his collegiate softball career began, Edwards coached softball at Commack High School, where he led his team to a 118-61 record in nine years and appearances in the Suffolk County Class A playoffs in seven of those nine years. His 1988 squad captured the Suffolk County championship and the Long Island championship, and finished third in the New York State Tournament. He is also a past president of the Suffolk County Softball Coaches Association. A teacher in the Commack school district from 1967 through 1999, he also coached football and baseball in the district at a variety of levels.
Edwards and his wife, Janie, have two daughters, Shari and Karen, and four grandchildren.