LAS VEGAS, Nev. – After 31 seasons of coaching the UConn softball team (1983-2014) and eight trips to the NCAA Tournament, Karen Mullins took her rightful place among the sport’s elite when she was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Friday night.
Mullins, along with three other inductees, were honored at a banquet as part of the annual NFCA Convention – which this year was held in Las Vegas, Nev.
She is a member of the Pioneer category in the Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have contributed to softball through service, leadership, coaching and participation. Mullins was a multi-sport athlete at UConn in basketball and softball, before graduating in 1979.
Her all-time coaching record at UConn stands at 862-626-5 (.579) and as of her retirement following the 2014 season, she was one of just 43 coaches in collegiate softball history to surpass the 800-win plateau.
“Coach Mullins has truly left her mark on Northeast softball. She grew this program into a World Series contender in the early 1990s and developed hundreds of young women along the way,” said current head coach Jen McIntyre.
“Her induction into our NFCA Hall of Fame is a celebration of all she has done throughout her career and we are all excited to recognize her accomplishment!”
— UConn Softball (@UConnSoftball) December 8, 2017
The Huskies made five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1989-93, also qualifying in 1995, ’96, and 2001 under Mullins’ direction. Softball made the program’s first and only trip to the Women’s College World Series in 1993, a team that set a program-record with 45 wins.
UConn won eight Big East Championships from 1990-2001, while Mullins was named Big East Softball Coach of the Year on five occasions in that stretch. She was also three-times named NFCA Division I Northeast Softball Coach of the Year (1989, ’90, ’93).
Nine different players earned All-American status during Mullins’ tenure, including Pat Conlan – native of Waterbury, Conn. and current head coach at Georgetown.
Mullins earned her Bachelor of Science in physical education from UConn in 1979, as well as her master’s degree in sport management in 1980. She coached at Nichols College in Massachusetts for two seasons, before returning to UConn for the 1984 season.
The NFCA Hall’s membership now stands at 77 people, following Friday’s induction of the 27th Hall of Fame Class. Mullins was inducted with Sheilah Gulas (Ashland University), Gary Haning (OC Batbusters) and Vickee Kazee-Hollifield (Carson-Newman University).