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Michigan State softball coach Jacquie Joseph announces retirement

Coach Joseph departs as the winningest coach in program history.

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After 29 seasons at the helm of the Michigan State Spartans softball program as head coach in East Lansing, Jacquie Joseph has officially announced her retirement from coaching. She will be remaining with Spartan athletics as she transitions to a sports administration role, but leaves the MSU softball program as the winningest coach in program history.

“While I likely will always identify as a coach, after nearly four decades on the bench, it’s time for a new challenge,” Joseph said in a statement. “I’ve had the honor to be the head coach for more than 1,800 games, and I cannot overstate my gratitude to my players, coaches, administrators and staff for allowing me to live out my professional dream. I’m extremely proud of what my players have accomplished on and off the field. They’ve provided me with a lifetime of memories.

“I appreciate the confidence that Athletic Director Alan Haller and Deputy AD Jennifer Smith have shown in asking that I contribute to the department in a new manner. I look forward to working toward enhancing the experiences of our student-athletes and coaches from a different perspective.”

Joseph amassed 753 wins as head coach in East Lansing during her 29 seasons, however she did finish with a losing record overall of 753-809-1. The Spartans have struggled to compete in the Big Ten and have not had a winning record in conference play since 2017 (12-10).

Joseph was a head coach at the college level for 34 seasons overall, totaling 889 victories and became an inductee of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame in 2016. She was a former NFCA president, a former member of the NCAA Softball Committee, and she has authored two books and created five videos dedicated to teaching and coaching the game of softball.

Joseph led four Michigan State squads to NCAA Regional appearances (1997, 1999, 2003, and 2004). The 2004 squad also captured the Big Ten Tournament title while the 2018 team advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Eight of MSU’s 10 NFCA All-American selections came during Joseph’s tenure with the program. Also, 37 of the Spartans’ 50 NFCA All-Region selections have come during her tenure, in addition to 66 Spartans who have earned All-Big Ten honors.

Joseph is a native of Flint, Michigan and played softball at Central Michigan. She helped lead the Chippewas to three MAC titles and three National Tournament appearances. She was a CMU Hall of Fame inductee in the fall of 2013 as a member of the 1982 team that advanced to the AIAW World Series.

Prior to coaching at Michigan State, Joseph spent five seasons as the head coach at Bowling Green State University and as an assistant at Indiana and CMU before that.