University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Dept of Athletics
Petersen Events Center - 3719 Terrace Street Pittsburgh, PA 152130436
Division 1 Pennsylvania Northeast
Public Large National competitor



Jodi Hermanek

Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced Tuesday, August 7, 2018 the hiring of former Ohio University head coach Jodi Hermanek to lead the University of Pittsburgh softball program.

With 397 career wins and 14 years of NCAA Division I head coaching experience under her belt, including the past 10 with the Bobcats, Hermanek becomes just the third head coach in Pitt softball history. She takes over the Panthers after a successful 2018 season in which the squad won the program’s first ACC Coastal Division Title and reached the ACC Tournament Championship Game for the second time in four years.

“I would like to thank Heather Lyke for this incredible honor to lead the Pitt Panthers,” said Hermanek. “Jennifer Tuscano and the entire search committee have been exceptional throughout this process and have exemplified the shared Gold Standard vision. My family and I are so excited and thankful to be a part of the Pitt family.

“I am a passionate coach. I value student-athlete development and look forward to building a championship culture of family and excellence from day one. I am ready to build upon a program that consists of strong student-athletes who will continue be competitive in the ACC and nationally. I will instill in my athletes that my expectation is that they leave this program better than when they arrived. I look forward to meeting my team, members of the athletic department and Panther nation.”

For the last 10 years, Hermanek has guided the Ohio University softball program to success at both the conference and national level. She has led the team to two NCAA postseason appearances (2018, 2014), including the first in 19 years, as well as two Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament Championships (2018, 2014), a MAC Regular Season Championship (2018) and three MAC East Division Championships (2018, 2017, 2011).

Most recently, Hermanek coached the Bobcats to a 40-17 overall record in 2018, marking the second consecutive season with 40-plus wins. They went on to win a MAC Regular Season Championship, as well as the MAC Tournament Championship, giving Ohio an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament and Knoxville Regional. Ohio battled in the tournament, reaching the regional championship game where they clashed with perennial powerhouse Tennessee. For their success, Hermanek and her staff were named the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaching Association East Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.

“We are proud to welcome Jodi Hermanek as our new head softball coach at Pitt,” said Lyke. “We have great expectations for this program and conducted a national search for a new leader who is prepared and confident in their ability to exceed those expectations. We found that leader in Coach Hermanek.

“Coach Hermanek brings a tremendous amount of head coaching experience to Pitt. For the past decade, she created a culture of excellence and built and sustained success athletically and academically at Ohio University. In 2018 she led her team to a 40-win season, regular-season and tournament championships and an NCAA Regional appearance. Given the momentum of our current softball team, I am confident Coach Hermanek’s expertise and drive to win will allow us to take our program to new heights. I look forward to our staff, student-athletes, donors and fans welcoming Coach Hermanek and her family to the city of Pittsburgh."

Hermanek coached six Bobcats to nine NFCA All-Region Honors, 22 student-athletes to 39 All-MAC athletic awards and two MAC Pitchers of the Year. Off the field, she has had numerous players earn Academic All-MAC honors and be named to the MAC Honor Roll.

Prior to her time at Ohio University, Hermanek spent four years at Southern Utah University where she guided the Thunderbirds to unprecedented success. She led SUU to its first NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back showings in 2006 and 2007, as well as two regular season Mid-Continent Conference Championships and a pair of Mid-Con Tournament Titles.

A four-year varsity softball letterwinner at Colorado State University-Pueblo from 1995-99, Hermanek earned a degree in English in 2000. She later received a Master of Science in kinesiology with an emphasis on coaching in 2006 from Texas Woman’s University.

Hermanek is married to Dr. David Horton Jr. Together they have a daughter, Emma Fay.

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Jillian Van Wagnen

University of Pittsburgh head softball coach Jodi Hermanek announced Tuesday, August 21 the hiring of Jillian Van Wagnen as an assistant coach on the softball staff.

Van Wagnen, a former student-athlete under Hermanek at Ohio University, joins the Panthers’ staff after four years in the same position with the Bobcats. She also served as Ohio’s recruiting coordinator and was primarily responsible for coaching outfield, slapping and base running.

“Coach J will serve as a viable asset to the success of Pitt Softball,” said Hermanek. “We have a sustained history of success working together and that type of loyalty is irreplaceable. Jillian is an amazing recruiter of talent and character. She will also oversee the defense, our slap offense, base running, speed training and athletic development.

“Her care of the student-athletes, professional conduct and passion for the game is the ideal representation of what Pitt softball’s culture is all about. There is no better coach or person I would want on this mission with me.”

A four-year walk-on at Ohio University, Van Wagnen played her collegiate career for Hermanek from 2009-12. She garnered All-Mid Atlantic Conference (MAC) Second Team honors in 2012 and was a member of the MAC All-Tournament Team in 2011. Van Wagnen also earned Academic All-MAC accolades during both of those years.

Throughout her four seasons, the former Bobcat started 161 games. Van Wagnen posted a career .308 batting average and 69 stolen bases, which ranks third in program history. She was also a part of Ohio’s 2011 MAC East Conference Championship team.

“I am so excited for the opportunity to join Coach Hermanek at Pitt,” said Van Wagnen. “I am eager to hit the ground running with a staff and group of student-athletes who are ready to compete.”

As an assistant coach with the Bobcats, Van Wagnen helped Ohio reach the NCAA Tournament in 2018, as well as win the 2018 MAC Regular Season Championship and back-to-back MAC East Division Titles (2017, 2018). She also guided multiple players to All-MAC honors as well as MAC All-Freshman accolades.

Prior to her time with the Bobcats, Van Wagnen spent two years at Newman University as an assistant coach, focusing on the outfield.

A native of Lorain, Ohio, Van Wagnen earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ohio University in 2012 and completed her master’s degree in recreation and sport sciences in 2016.

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