After making an immediate impact last year in her first season on the Buckeyes' coaching staff, Ali Viola enters her second year at Ohio State in 2007. Viola came to Ohio State with seven years of collegiate coaching experience following her playing career at Nebraska, where she was a three-time All-American shortstop. In addition to coaching the Buckeyes' infielders, Viola works primarily with hitting and coaches first base during games.
"Coach Viola was elevated to the first assistant position at the beginning of this year and she has really embraced that role," head coach Linda Kalafatis said. "I have entrusted her with several key elements of our program. Ali is our hitting coach, infield coach and recruiting coordinator. She expects and demands that our players bring consistent effort every day, and with all of her success as a player and coach, she knows as well as anybody what it takes to be a champion. She would like nothing more than to see this team maximize their potential and compete for a Big Ten Championship and I know she'll do everything she can to help us get there. "
Viola's coaching career began at Louisville, where she spent the 1999 season helping the Cardinals establish themselves as a new Division I program. Viola then spent three seasons at Wisconsin, during which the Badgers were selected for the NCAA tournament all three years, before moving onto Cal Poly State for the last three seasons.
A native of Novato, Calif., Viola was the 1995 Big 12 Freshman of the Year at Nebraska and went on to be named Big 12 Player of the Year twice. She earned All-America honors three times and still is Nebraska's all-time leader in home runs, hits, doubles, walks, slugging percentage and batting average. Viola's career totals for home runs (53), RBI (213) and slugging percentage (.760) rank among the Top 16 in NCAA history.
Viola was an Olympic Festival participant in 1995 and was a USA National Top 60 representative from 1995-98. In 2000 she helped lead the Tampa Bay Firestix to the Women's Professional League championship.
Scenes from the Buckeyes' Home Opener