Maryland softball coach Julie Wright has resigned from the program after four years at the helm, the university announced Wednesday.
Under Wright, who previously served as head coach at Idaho State, the Terps amassed a combined 61-147-1 record, finishing last in the Big Ten in two of her four seasons. After winning only 12 games in 2016, Wright’s squad regressed in 2017, winning just 11 contests. The Terps improved the last two years, though, winning 18 and 20 games, respectively.
“While this was not an easy decision, it was the right one at this time,” Wright said in a release. “I am truly thankful for having the opportunity to be the head softball coach at Maryland the last four years. I am especially grateful for the student-athletes and staff members who dedicated so much time to the program.”
When reached Wednesday night, Wright declined to comment further.
In 2017, Maryland managed to pull off an upset over No. 1-ranked Florida, the biggest win in the program’s history.
Injuries often stacked the cards during Wright’s tenure for a team already hampered by limited depth. Taylor Okada, who led the Terps with a .426 batting average during a 16-12 nonconference slate last season, underwent season-ending knee surgery.
And while many top softball teams rely on the same few arms for the majority of their innings, Maryland has often struggled to find an ace, especially as transfers began to pile up.
Brenna Nation, who compiled 131 innings in 2016, didn’t return for her redshirt senior season. After Madison Martin and Hannah Dewey graduated the following year, the 2018 team was led by nine newcomers, one of them pitcher Ryan Denhart.
But after Denhart put together an impressive rookie campaign, she — as well as two starting infielders — transferred from the program, leaving Wright with nine newcomers in their place once more.
Maryland will likely be faced with more turnover next season after Wright’s departure. Just one day before resigning, Wright announced the addition of Braelyn Cooper, a transfer from Liberty. The left-handed pitcher held a 1.09 ERA in 19 ⅓ innings and will have three years of eligibility remaining in College Park.
Wright signed a five-year contract when she arrived in College Park, and it was set to expire on June 30, 2020, according to a copy of the document obtained by The Diamondback through a public information request. Wright was earning a base salary of $96,900.
According to a team spokesperson, assistants Vicky Galasso and Tori Finucane will remain on staff. Associate athletic director Kristen Brown will supervise softball operations.
“We accept Coach Wright’s resignation and wish her the very best moving forward,” athletic director Damon Evans said in a release. “Our focus will be on identifying a new leader for our program who will promote a culture of excellence and ensure success for our student-athletes both on and off the diamond.”