Softball: Hardin agrees to extension through 2026 season

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia head softball coach Joanna Hardin has signed a three-year contract extension through the 2026 season, which was announced by director of athletics Carla Williams on Tuesday.

“We are very excited about Coach Hardin and the trajectory of Virginia softball,” Williams said. “The last two seasons have given us a glimpse of what is to come. Outstanding team and individual performances as well as increased fan attendance and back-to-back top 25 recruiting classes are examples of why we are so excited about Coach Hardin and the future of this program.”

Hardin recently completed her seventh season at the helm of the Virginia program after taking over prior to the 2017 season. In her tenure, the Cavaliers have advanced to four ACC Tournaments and earned a postseason bid to the National Invitational Softball Championship in 2022. She has produced one of the program’s four All-America honorees and has coached nine players to All-Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, five players to All-ACC honors and three players to ACC All-Freshman honors.

Student-athletes have also achieved success in the classroom with 30 players named to the ACC Softball All-Academic team. Forty-five players have earned recognition as NFCA Scholar Athletes and 101 student-athletes have been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll with a program-record 22 players each of the last two seasons.

“I’d like to thank President Ryan and Carla Williams for believing in the future of Virginia softball,” Hardin said. “The investment in our student-athletes and Palmer Park provides an amazing opportunity for wholistic development. Our vision has always been to develop young women through championship softball. Our fan base continues to expand and support our program as we extend our unbroken growth. It is truly an honor to represent the Commonwealth and University of Virginia every day.”

Hardin coached the Cavaliers to their first 30-win season since 2010 and a berth in the ACC Championships this past season. Infielder Jade Hylton was named a TUCCI/NFCA Freshman of the Year Top 25 selection, while Hylton and freshman pitcher Eden Bigham both garnered All-ACC and All-Region honors. The Cavaliers picked up significant wins including victories over No. 13 Virginia Tech and at No. 4 Florida State.