Now in her 11th season at Ohio State, Linda Kalafatis continues to add to an impressive coaching resume that already ranks among the best in the Big Ten and the NCAA. She is one of only three Big Ten coaches with more than 600 career wins, which puts her in an elite group of less than 30 active coaches across the country.
Six times have the Buckeyes won at least 30 games under Kalafatis, a win total they reached only four times in the 25 years before she arrived in Columbus. The 2002 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Kalafatis has guided Ohio State to three NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004 and 2006).
Kalafatis enters the 2007 season with ns a 334-232 (.590) record in 10 years at Ohio State. In 18 years as a collegiate head coach, which includes stops at her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron, she owns a record of 607-347-2 (.636).
Among all Big Ten programs since 2000, the Buckeyes rank third with 260 wins and a.640 winning percentage. From 2001 to 2004, four consecutive OSU senior classes broke the program record for most wins by one class.
Kalafatis has mentored six players who have gone on to play in the Women's Professional Fastpitch League, most recently Kristine Himes (2000-03). A total of 47 players have earned all-region honors under Kalafatis, including three last year when Brittany Vanderink earned first team honors and Nycole Koyano and Megan Schwab were second-team picks. Vanderink became the seventh Buckeye under Kalafatis to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors.
A total of 76 Buckeyes have been named Academic All-Big Ten during Kalafatis' tenure and the last two seasons have seen a Buckeye named first-team Academic All-District, including Ashley Cutcliff in 2005 and Lauren Daykin in 2006.
Ohio State finished second in the Big Ten regular-season race in 2001 and 2002 and has now finished fourth the last two years with a 9-7 record in 2005 and an 11-7 finish in 2006. The Buckeyes have won at least 30 games the last three seasons, including 39 last year when Ohio State went 39-23 and traveled to the Tucson Regional of the NCAA tournament, where the Buckeyes fell to eventual national champion Arizona.
In 2006, Ohio State led the Big Ten in hitting for the second-consecutive year and went 21-2 at Buckeye Field, including a perfect 13-0 home non-conference record. Under Kalafatis, the Buckeyes are 96-10 at home against non-conference opponents.
Last season Kalafatis recorded milestone wins with No. 300 at Ohio State Feb. 19 at Stetson (Fla.) and No. 600 for her career April 23 against Michigan State.
Ohio State narrowly missed the NCAA tournament in 2005 when the Buckeyes went 32-17 overall and 9-7 in the Big Ten. In 2004, Ohio State went 35-25 overall and earned the No. 6 seed at the Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional.
In 2003, Kalafatis reached her 500th career win with a victory against Marshall April 30. Ohio State recorded a 26-23 record that season and beat Michigan, 4-0, at Buckeye Field.
In 2002 the Buckeyes rewrote the Ohio State record books, setting 21 team and 15 individual records en route to 55 wins, the most ever in the history of the program and an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament, their first appearance since 1990. The Buckeyes finished second in the Big Ten with a conference record of 16-4. Anna Smith and Kalafatis were named Big Ten Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Smith also was named Ohio State's Female Athlete of the Year for 2001-02 and became OSU's first-ever first-team All-America selection. Wendy Allen garnered second-team All-America honors as a utility player and Stacy Roth (catcher) and Jennifer Link (second base) both received third-team All-America honors. Smith, Allen and Roth also earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades while Katie Chain, Kristine Himes and Link received third-team All-Big Ten honors.
In 2001, Chain was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as the Buckeyes went 46-18, setting up their record-setting 2002 campaign. OSU also had three second-team All-Big Ten honorees and two third-team members. Allen was honored as Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Ohio State is the third program Kalafatis has cultivated. Prior to her tenure at OSU, Kalafatis was the architect behind the development of two programs. Including her alma mater, California University of Pennsylvania, and then at the University of Akron.
Kalafatis headed the coaching staff at California from 1989 through 1993, posting an impressive record of 175-53-1 and winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference each of her five years there. At Akron, she compiled a mark of 98-63-1 after taking over the program in 1994. During her three years at Akron, Kalafatis had two Mid-American Conference Freshmen of the Year honorees and recruited the 1997 MAC Player of the Year.
A native of Bethel Park, Pa., Kalafatis' was inducted into the California University of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 2001.
Humphrey Highlights | Taylor White