MEET THE STAFF…
HEAD COACH SOFTBALL, DEANNA GUMPFIn her 17th season as leader of the Notre Dame softball program, Deanna Gumpf continues to ascend the ladder as one of the nation’s premier head coaches.
??Under Gumpf’s guidance the Irish have made 16 consecutive trips to NCAA Regionals, claiming four conference tournament titles during that span. Even more, Notre Dame staked claim to the BIG EAST Conference’s regular-season championship during her first four seasons on the bench (2002-05). The Irish hoisted BIG EAST regular-season hardware again in 2010, 2011, and the program’s final year as a conference member in 2013 before transitioning to the Atlantic Coast Conference prior to the 2014 campaign.
Gumpf has compiled a career record of 668-271-1 (.711) in her 16 seasons at Notre Dame, placing her among the elite skippers in the NCAA.
ASSOCIATE COACH, KRIS GANEFFRegarded as one of the best all-around catchers in Irish history, Kris Ganeff is now in her 17th year as an assistant coach with the Notre Dame softball program.
Perennially one of the best defensive teams in the nation, Notre Dame has finished among the top 25 programs in fielding percentage in six of the past eight seasons dating back to 2010. The Irish broke back into the national top 10 with a team .974 clip in 2016 to finish in solo 10th place. Notre Dame previously posted a .973 percentage with only 39 errors in 2015 to place 21st in the NCAA.
ASSOCIATE COACH, LIZZY RISTANO
A former member of the USA Softball National Team and the 2001 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, Lizzy Ristano enters her 13th season in the Notre Dame dugout as an assistant coach.
Notre Dame narrowly missed surpassing the .300 plateau for team batting average for the eighth straight season in 2017, finishing at a .299 team clip against one of the toughest schedules in program history. For the fourth straight season as an ACC member, an Irish hitter sat at the top of the conference standings for hits. Ali Wester tied two other players with 74 base knocks in 2017 to lead the ACC, after sister Karley Wester (the ACC leader in career hits with 323) was the outright conference hits champion from 2014-16.
VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT COACH, JAMIE SPITALELongtime collegiate assistant coach Jamie Spitale officially joined the Notre Dame softball staff in June of 2014, and is entering her fourth season as the program’s volunteer assistant coach. Spitale assists in a variety of aspects related to team coaching, specializing in instruction with the Notre Dame pitching staff alongside head coach Deanna Gumpf.
Notre Dame has advanced to the NCAA Championship in each of Spitale’s first three seasons in the Irish dugout, and she has been a member of back-to-back National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Mid-Atlantic Coaching Staffs of the Year (2016-17).
SOFTBALL OPERATIONS SPECIALIST, CASSIDY WHIDDENOne of the best catchers in the history of the University of Notre Dame softball program, former two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association of America (NFCA) All-Region selection Cassidy Whidden (B.A. ’15, M.Ed. ’17) returned to her alma mater as the team’s softball operations specialist in July of 2017.
Whidden’s primary responsibilities include assisting the Notre Dame coaching staff in coordinating team travel and special events, along with primary oversight of the program’s social media initiatives and promotional activities.