NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College softball head coach Roni Rivera announced her resignation after two seasons as skipper for the Gaels. Rivera will look to pursue options outside of college athletics.
In two seasons under Rivera, the Gaels earned back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances and MAAC Championship titles. The Maroon & Gold posted a 66-48 record and were 22-10 in MAAC play. Iona's 35 wins this past season were a program record.
“I’d like to take the time to thank Coach Rivera for her time at Iona,” said Eugene Marshall. “She helped bring the program to unprecedented success. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
Prior to Iona, she spent two seasons as head coach at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. In Rivera's first year with Muhlenberg, the Mules tied for the biggest turnaround in Centennial Conference history and won their first conference championship in six years, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The squad set program records in home runs, doubles, and extra base hits with three members being named to the All-Conference team. For her efforts she was named Centennial Conference Coach of the Year. In her second season, Rivera coached the Centennial’s Player of the Year in infielder Ashley Brewer.
Prior to Muhlenberg, Rivera spent three years at Dartmouth College, serving as the program's top assistant coach. The Big Green finished in second place in the Ivy League Northern Division her last two years with the squad. At Dartmouth, Rivera served as primary coach for infielders and catchers while assisting with hitting, outfield and pitching. In addition, she handled the recruitment players from all regions of the country.
Prior to Dartmouth, Rivera coached at Cal State Northridge. With the Matadors, Rivera helped the softball team to a 16-23 record while two players were named All-Big West. At Cal State Northridge, Rivera instructed the team's catchers and battery. She assisted with hitting and defensive practices while also preparing and sending post-game scouting reports.
Before her stint with the Matadors, Rivera served as an administrative assistant and softball instructor at the Dan Duquette Sports Academy for several months.
As a player, Rivera had a successful career at Santa Clara University. A four-year varsity letterwinner and two-time captain, she was a recipient of an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship and was given the team's Most Inspirational award. Rivera was chosen as an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sport Scholar in 2002 and 2003 and was named to the West Intercollegiate Softball League All-Academic team twice.
The president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the Student-Athlete Leadership Council, Rivera was selected to represent Santa Clara at the 2002 NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference. She also won the Carol Williams Award as the senior student-athlete who best exemplifies the ideals of leadership and community service.
After graduating Santa Clara with a degree in history, Rivera earned a master’s in sports administration from the University of Massachusetts while serving as a graduate assistant at Mt. Holyoke College.