Head coach Linda Kalafatis enters her 16th season at the helm of the Buckeyes as one of the most successful coaches in the Big Ten and the NCAA. She is one of four conference coaches with more than 700 career wins, placing her among the Top 30 active coaches in the country. The 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Kalafatis is third among current Big Ten coaches in number of victories - with five fewer years coaching experience than her nearest colleague.
The Buckeyes have won 30 or more games in 10 of Kalafatis' 15 seasons in Columbus, including seven of the last eight seasons. Also the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2002, she has guided Ohio State to six of the program's seven NCAA tournament appearances (2002, '04, '06, '07, '09, '10), including its first trip to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009.
Kalafatis enters the 2012 season with a 507-335 (.602) record in 15 years at Ohio State, which marks the best win total and winning percentage in program history. In 22 years as a collegiate head coach, including stops at her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron, she owns a record of 780-450-2 (.633).
Last season, Kalafatis claimed her 500th career win as head coach at Ohio State after the team defeated Harvard, 4-1, March 18, 2011.
In 2007, Kalafatis and her assistant coaches were named the regional coaching staff of the year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, an organization for which Kalafatis serves as the Div. I representative. She also is the chair of the head coaches committee of the NFCA.
Among all Big Ten programs since 2000, the Buckeyes rank third with 433 wins a .635 winning percentage. From 2001 to 2004, four-consecutive OSU senior classes broke the program record for most wins by one class.
Kalafatis has mentored eight players who have gone on to play in the Women's Professional Fastpitch League, most recently Sam Marder (2008-10) and Jamee Juarez (2004-07).
A total of seven players have been named All-Americans under Kalafatis, including Sam Marder (2008-10) and Kim Reeder in 2009. In addition, 57 Buckeyes have earned all-region honors and 28 have been named first-team All-Big Ten.
A total of 107 Buckeyes have been named Academic All-Big Ten during Kalafatis' tenure and four of the last six seasons have seen a Buckeye named first-team Academic All-District, including Ashley Cutcliff in 2005, Lauren Daykin in 2006 and Reeder in 2009 and Alicia Herron in 2010.
Under Kalafatis, the Buckeyes are 125-15 (.893) at home against nonconference opponents in the regular season. Overall, Ohio State is 89-30 the last five seasons at home.
In 2010, Ohio State ended its season with a 39-14 overall record after making its fourth NCAA regional appearance in the last five seasons, finishing tied for the second in the conference with a 16-2 record. Sam Marder became the most decorated Buckeye in program history as the only three-time All-American. She finished her Ohio State career as the all-time record holder for home runs (61), RBI (191), walks (232) and intentional walks (56). Marder was also named the 2010 OSU Female Athlete of the Year.
In 2009, The Scarlet and Gray recorded one of the best season in program history a year ago, as the squad rewrote the program history book, tying the best 10-game start (9-1), recording the second-most wins (47) against one of its toughest schedules and making its first appearance at the NCAA Super Regional after defeating Canisius, Brigham Young and Kentucky in the NCAA Regional at New Buckeye Field.
Overall, the Buckeyes, who ranked nationally for a record 14-consecutive weeks in 2009, posted a 47-11 overall record, including an 18-2 mark at home and 16-4 Big Ten ledger to finish second in the league. The Buckeyes went on two 11 game win streaks throughout the season as it climbed the national rankings from 23rd to 11th. In March, Kalafatis earned her 700th career win as Ohio State defeated Eastern Michigan, 11-3, in five innings. In 2009, Marder earned her second All-America honor becoming just the second Buckeye to do so after setting the Ohio State all-time home run record (43) while leading the NCAA in bases on balls (67). Reeder became just the second pitcher in Buckeye history to earn All-America honors as she cemented her place in the history books, recording school records for both single-season and career wins, tallying her 26th and 77th, respectively, after shutting out a record-tying 11 opponents.
The 2008 edition of the Buckeyes started off the season with a 22-6 record and a national ranking for eight-consecutive weeks and ended it on an equally high note by winning seven of the last nine regular-season games and with Vanderink's and Marder's All-America selections. The stretch in between, however, proved to have its ups and downs for Kalafatis and her team, though the reigning Big Ten conference coach of the year still led the Buckeyes to 33 wins and a No. 8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, where they fell to eventual champion Northwestern.
In 2007, Ohio State won its second Big Ten championship and became the third program in Big Ten history to win the Big Ten Tournament in the same season. The Buckeyes went 3-0 in the Big Ten tournament, capped off by a 2-1 win over sixth-ranked Northwestern on national television. Ohio State, which checked in at No. 22 and 23 in the final national polls, respectively, went 40-18 overall and was given a home NCAA Regional, where they came within one win of a trip to the Super Regional.
Ohio State finished second in the Big Ten regular-season race in 2001 and 2002 and finished fourth in 2005 and 2006.
In 2006, Ohio State led the Big Ten in hitting for the second-consecutive year and went 21-2 at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes went 39-23 and traveled to the Tucson Regional of the NCAA tournament, where they were eliminated by eventual national champion Arizona. Also in 2006, 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.