Luther College softball coach Renae Hartl won her 500th career game tonight in Dubuqe after the Norse swept the Duhawks of Loras College 6-0, 8-1.
Hartl, who is in the midst of her 15th season, has now compiled a career record of 500-169 for a winning percentage of .747. Hartl entered the 2017 campaign ranked 15th among active Division III head coaches for career win percentage (.740) and 13th for winningest coaches all-time with a minimum 10 years experience.
This week Luther is ranked No. 4 in the nation. Since 2009, the Norse have been ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association DIII Top-25 for 108 of 111 weeks that includes a current string of 48 consecutive weeks.
"It's about the girls,” stated Hartl. “That many wins means that I have been lucky to coach really good players with wonderful families and support. I love what I get to do every day.”
“My family, especially my parents and my boys at home, have been such great support and are my biggest fans. I still am so thankful to athletic director Joe Thompson and President Rick Torgerson for taking a chance on a 24-year-old and choosing me to continue for Coach Betty Hoff and her softball program. I also have so many unbelievable mentors that taught me so much over the years and I know that they know who they are because I tell them when I get opportunities.”
“I also want to thank Teri and Tracy for being with me for almost all of my 14-plus years. I am so blessed to have two coaches and friends that love this college, our program, and the girls as much as I do! I also want to thank my other assistants that helped me over the years: Jacki Wright, Jen Shelton, Connie Berg, Tami Magner, Danielle (Armbruster) Walters, Erika Randall, and Miranda McCay, plus some great student-coaches and managers that put up with me too!”
During her tenure, she has coached five teams that captured Iowa Conference regular season titles (2007, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016). The Norse have also made nine appearances in the NCAA III National Tournament in the last 10 years. Her teams have finished fifth at the NCAA III National championships in 2010, 2012 and 2013; and seventh in 2011.