Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Roni Rivera Named New Iona Head Coach

The defending MAAC Champion Iona Gaels have announced the hiring of Roni Rivera as their new head softball coach.

The Santa Clara grad comes to the Gaels after rejuvenating the division 3 Muhlenberg College Mules and leading them to their first Centennial Conference title in six years. Rivera previously spent three years as an assistant at Dartmouth.

Iona College press release:

NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons has named Roni Rivera as head coach of the Iona softball program. Rivera comes to Iona from Muhlenberg, where she served as head coach for the past two seasons.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to coach at an institution with the quality of academics and athletics that Iona embraces," said Rivera. "I am very impressed with the accomplishments of the 2010 team and look forward to keeping that momentum of success while continuing to raise the bar of Iona softball."

"We are pleased to have Roni on board to lead our softball program," said Lyons. "Roni brings a wealth of experience as both a player and coach at all levels of college softball. Her energy and passion will help us continue to be a top contender in the MAAC."

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.

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