After serving as head coach at Saint Francis for the past seven seasons, Jennifer Patrick-Swift was named head coach of the NC State softball program on June 2, 2018, as announced by Director of Athletics Debbie Yow on Saturday.
Patrick-Swift has strong North Carolina roots, as she played collegiately at Methodist College served as head coach at Chowan University. She also has family ties to the Tar Heel State, as her husband, Patrick, is a native of Williamston, N.C., and his family currently resides there.
“We’d like to welcome Jennifer to the Wolfpack Family. Her track record of building a program from the ground up to extraordinary success is extremely impressive,” said Yow. “Her teams improved their win totals in each of her first six years, and during our search process she proved quickly to be an ideal fit for our program. We are excited for our future as Jennifer assumes leadership of NC State softball.”
Patrick-Swift helped lead NC State to the ACC Championship semifinals in her first season at the helm of the program. The squad compiled 31 wins during the 2019 season, the most for the team in a single season since the 2015 campaign during which the Wolfpack reached a Super Regional. NC State picked up wins in three ACC series during the regular season before going on to earn its first ACC Championship berth since the 2017 season.
In her final two seasons at Saint Francis, Patrick-Swift guided the Red Flash to back-to-back conference championship titles, the first in program history, and clinched a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, which were also the first in program history.
“It’s hard to put my excitement of joining the Wolfpack family into words,” said Patrick-Swift. “I am grateful to Debbie Yow, Georgia Brown, and the entire search committee for giving me the opportunity to lead NC State's softball program. NC State is a world-class university that offers outstanding leadership encompassed by one of the best cities to live in the country. The competitive growth that is occurring at NC State is an obvious byproduct of the university’s commitment to ‘think and do the extraordinary’. I look forward to being a part of the Pack!”
Patrick-Swift compiled a 61-43 NEC (Northeast Conference) record, ending her tenure on a 38-game win streak which is the fourth-longest streak in NCAA Division I history. In the 2017 and ’18 seasons, Saint Francis was just one of two teams to go undefeated in conference play, joining Florida State (2017) and Oklahoma (2018).
Overall, she racked up 226 wins in her seven seasons at the helm of Saint Francis and was named ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Coach of the Year while leading the NEC Coaching Staff of the Year in 2017 and NFCA Great Lakes Region Staff of the Year in 2018.
Along with her coaching honors, she saw 31 All-NEC and 10 NFCA All-Great Lakes Region selections, as well as three NEC Rookies of the Year, two NEC Players of the Year, two NEC Pitchers of the Year and one NEC Gold Glove recipient.
Patrick-Swift led her team to a 39-19 record in the 2018 season to earn an automatic bid to the Tucson NCAA Regional, where the Red Flash battled valiantly with 10th-ranked Arizona before dropping a 1-0 decision in its opener. Her team led the nation in home runs with 83 heading into the NCAA Tournament. In 2017 Saint Francis captured its first-ever NCAA Tournament win with an 8-4 victory over New Mexico State at the Tucson Regional.
In her first six seasons Saint Francis improved its win total each year. In 2012, her first season, the Red Flash went 22-26 and in 2017 the team compiled a 49-11 record, the most wins in a single season for both SFU and among the NEC.
Under her leadership her teams have rewrote the program’s record books. Her teams broke 12 of 14 single-season team records, while her players set 12 individual single-season and nine individual career records.
Prior to Saint Francis, she was the head coach at Division II Seton Hill for one season. The list of accomplishments during her short stay at Seton Hill include four victories over nationally ranked opponents and four All-WVIAC selections, as well as a team grade-point average of 3.6.
Patrick-Swift began her collegiate coaching career at Division III Washington & Jefferson College as an assistant. During her one season there, she helped lead the Presidents to the second most single season wins in school history.
From there, Patrick-Swift moved on to a head-coaching job at Chowan University where she spent a year overseeing the Division II operation. While with the Hawks, Patrick-Swift monitored the team’s academics and solely acquired 14 committed recruits for the next season.
Following Chowan she spent two and a half years at Division III York College of Pennsylvania. Under Patrick-Swift’s direction, York entered the NFCA Top 25 rankings for the first time in school history in 2009, reaching as high as 21st. Following her first two seasons, she helped the Spartans produce the second-most wins in the school’s history and led them to their best conference finish since 2001.
After her stay at York, she moved on to an assistant coaching position at Division II Millersville University where she helped the Marauders set new school records in slugging percentage and doubles, and came just one extra base hit shy of breaking the school’s extra base hit record. The Marauders more than doubled their conference wins from the previous season under Patrick-Swift’s assistance and significantly increased offensive production.
As a player, Patrick-Swift was a four-year starting first baseman for Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C. She earned All Dixie/USA South Conference honors three times and was a two-time honoree of the All-Atlantic South Region team. Her team posted 120 victories to just 53 losses throughout her four seasons spent with the Monarchs.
On the field, Patrick-Swift set career records in games played, at-bats, triples, total bases and putouts. Named Offensive Player of the Year her junior and senior season, she batted .405 and .420, respectively. Leadership skills shown through as well for Patrick-Swift as she garnered team captain honors her final two years.
In addition to her coaching and playing experience, Patrick-Swift has been a softball camp instructor and speaker since she began playing collegiate softball in 2001. She has held numerous conferences and clinics at universities and facilities across the country. She additionally is a member of the NFCA rules committee.
Patrick-Swift holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, with concentration in zoology from Methodist College, a master’s degree in sports management, concentration in coaching theory and strategy from American Military University, and is currently enrolled at Grand Canyon University as a Doctorate of Philosophy student, pursing her PhD in General Psychology with an emphasis in Performance Psychology.
She and her husband, Patrick, have three daughters.