Starred At Harvard, Joins Yale Staff From South Florida
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Laura Ricciardone, who starred as a pitcher in the Ivy League and most recently helped South Florida to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances as an assistant coach, has been named an assistant coach at Yale.
"I couldn't be more excited to have someone with Laura's experience coming on board," said Head Coach Jen Goodwin. "When speaking with colleagues during my search, her name came up every time, and I can see why. Her experience, expertise, as well as her energy and passion for softball is something we will all benefit from. Laura will have the unique ability to relate to our student-athletes immediately from her time at Harvard. I can't wait to hit the ground running with Laura."
Said Ricciardone, "I am thrilled to be joining the Yale Softball staff and really thankful to Coach Goodwin for the opportunity to join the Yale Softball family. There was an instant connection with her and the vision she has for the world class athletes of Yale Softball, and I am so looking forward to continuing to build on the championship culture she has established.
"I am lucky to have been a part of and learned from the incredible programs that I have thus far in my career and am truly humbled to have the chance to come home to the Ivy League."
Ricciardone joined the USF staff as a graduate assistant coach in 2017 and then spent the next two seasons as a full-time assistant. In her three years, the Bulls won 112 games and captured the American Athletic Conference regular season title in 2019. USF won NCAA Regional games in both 2018 and 2019. In addition, USF was selected as the American's Coaching Staff of the Year in both 2018 and 2019.
"I want to thank Laura for her time at USF," said long-time South Florida head coach Ken Eriksen, who also serves as the head coach of the United States National Team. "Where we are right now and where we are going is in a really good place because of her hard work. I wish her all the best in the future. Any team that gets her as a coach and as a person is going to benefit tremendously."
At USF, Ricciardone served as recruiting coordinator and camp director. As the lead recruiter, she was responsible for coordination and execution of evaluation, visit coordination and prospective student-athlete communication. During her tenure, she coached an All-American, and American Rookie, Pitcher and Defensive Players of the Year.
Prior to South Florida, Ricciardone spent one season as an assistant coach to Ashley Waters at Boston University. Waters had been an assistant coach at Harvard during Ricciardone's undergraduate career. The two helped lead the Terriers to the Patriot League championship and an NCAA Regional appearance. In addition, Ricciardone mentored Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Melanie Russel.
"Having watched Laura up close transition as an All-Ivy pitcher at Harvard to a coach here at BU and South Florida, I know Yale made a great hire," Waters said. "Laura's work ethic and dedication to the sport as a player and coach are unmatched. She was a gifted competitor who has translated that fuel from the circle into coaching. She thrived in the high academic environment and will inspire her student-athletes to do the same."
As a pitcher at Harvard, Ricciardone earned All-Ivy recognition in each of her four years, including first team honors in 2014 and 2015 when she also was named to the NFCA Northeast Region third team. She helped guide the Crimson to a pair of Ivy League championships (2011, 2012). In addition, she was a two-time team captain and earned NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete honors twice.
Ricciardone earned a BA in psychology from Harvard in 2015 and holds a Master of Business Administration from South Florida (2018).
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Athletics Strategic Communications