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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Observer

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Gumpf announces retirement after 23 seasons

Notre Dame’s all-time winningest head coach moves on after 27-23 season

On Thursday morning, Notre Dame softball head coach Deanna Gumpf announced her retirement after 23 seasons leading the Irish.

Gumpf departs as Notre Dame’s all-time leader in wins across all varsity sports, with 882 career victories. She surpassed legendary women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw for the top spot on the leaderboard during the 2023 season.

The Irish were an NCAA Tournament staple under Gumpf, qualifying for 21 regional appearances. Notre Dame never had a losing season with her at the helm, though this past season marked the first time the team missed an NCAA regional appearance.

During Gumpf’s accomplished tenure, the Irish captured 11 Big East championships, including seven regular-season titles and four conference tournament titles. She eclipsed 40 wins in 12 different seasons, including a 43-win 2016 campaign that likely represented Notre Dame softball’s high point during the program’s ACC era.

While Gumpf tutored 134 all-conference selections, 24 NFCA All-Americans and eight conference players of the year, perhaps her greatest impact on Notre Dame softball came away from the diamond.

When Gumpf’s daughter Tatum was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the summer of 2010, Notre Dame softball rallied around the Gumpf family through the creation of the Strikeout Cancer initiative the next season. The initiative, led by Gumpf, would grow into a staple event for the team every spring, raising thousands of dollars on a yearly basis for South Bend’s Memorial Children’s Hospital and children across Indiana battling cancer. The 2024 iteration of Strikeout Cancer raised over $80,000, setting a new program record.

According to an official statement from the University, Notre Dame will now begin a national search for a new head coach. Should the Irish hire the team’s next boss from another school, it would mark the first time Notre Dame softball has found a head coach externally since the program’s second head coach, Liz Miller, was hired in 1993.