Renae Hartl

Head softball coach and instructor in health and physical education

Academic mentoring: Serves as senior-project coordinator for HPE majors.

On the scoreboard: As 2007 conference champions, the Norse softball players look forward to breaking their own records; in 2007 they led the nation in home runs and slugging percentage.

Biggest fan: Her young son, who attends games in his Luther softball stocking cap.

Hobby: Recruiting--all year round, she attends softball games and other athletic events to watch prospective players. She especially looks forward to seeing her committed seniors play each summer.

A fierce competitor since her own college days, Renae admits she breathes softball sometimes to the brink of hyperventilation--but she says the motivation and well-roundedness of her team at Luther helps her breathe a little easier.

"My goal is to find a role for each woman to play and encourage an atmosphere in which she plays that role well--whether it's pinch-running, pinch-hitting, or being ready to pitch in the sixth inning. There's a certain reason they all need to be in uniform each game. Everybody has a purpose."

Renae emphasizes that Luther's academic and athletic communities complement each other brilliantly. "I came to Luther because I felt I could back up what I was 'selling' to prospective families with an incredible experience both on and off the field."

The team sets its own high expectations for success in the classroom, she says, and members pursue a variety of interests on campus.

"Ultimately, my job is about discovering my players' dreams and goals and not altering their goals to fit my big picture. They make my job easy--relatively speaking--and I feel lucky to get paid to do what I do."