After serving four seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin, Randy Schneider will begin his first season as associate head coach of the Badgers during the 2014-15 season.
The move comes following another record-breaking campaign for the Badgers in which they won 36 games, including 15 in Big Ten play--both tied for the second most in school history--and reached the conference semifinals and NCAA Regional Championships for the second-straight year.
In 2013, Schneider's hard work paid off at the plate for the Badgers as the team set single-season records in seven offensive categories -- slugging percentage (.443), OPS (.826), runs (283), hits (458), RBI (247), total bases (678) and walks (173). The team tied a program-best with a .300 team batting average and recorded the second-most doubles (67), home runs (47)hit by pitch (40), stolen bases (100) and stolen base percentage (.806) in school history.
Mary Massei set school records in batting average (.421), slugging percentage (.672), OPS (1.156), at bats (195), hits (82), runs (51), triples (6) and total bases (131), while Stephanie Peace recorded a school-record 35 walks.
The Badgers qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005, setting a school record with 44 wins and recording a program-best .772 winning percentage. UW's 16 Big Ten wins were the most in school history and its 28 non-conference wins and 24 neutral site wins also topped the list.
Wisconsin won the 2013 Big Ten Tournament for the first time in program history, defeating Northwestern, No. 6 Michigan and Minnesota on its way to the title. The victory over Michigan marked the Badgers' first win over the Wolverines since the 2002 season.
Schneider's offensive coaching prowess was evident in 2012, as Whitney Massey was named first team NCFA All-Great Lakes Region. Massey had a record-breaking season, hitting 22 doubles for the Badgers. The team's batting average of .300 and on base percentage of .385 were school-bests since the program started in 1996.
With Schneider's help, the Badgers recorded 30 wins in 2011, hitting the 30 win total for just the sixth time in school history. Wisconsin set a new stolen base record with 107 on the year and new individual records were set by Jennifer Krueger for all-time stolen bases and Michelle Mueller for stolen bases in a season by a freshman. The team was one of the youngest in Wisconsin history, with 73% of the roster comprised of freshmen.
Before joining Wisconsin, Schneider served as the head coach at Valparaiso for seven seasons, leaving as the program's all-time winningest coach. The Crusaders enjoyed winning seasons in each of the past four years and won 20 or more games in six of Schneider's seven seasons after reaching the mark just three times in the program's first 22 years.
"I am thrilled to have Randy Schneider join the Wisconsin softball family," Healy said. "He is one of the most innovative, enthusiastic, and respected coaches in our game. His ability to teach and mentor young athletes has made him one of the top recruiters in the country. Randy is best known for identifying and attracting elite Gold players from the West Coast, to blossom and excel in a supportive Midwest, family environment.
"The program will immediately become more successful on the field, in the community and in the classroom under Randy's leadership. I'm thrilled to have a coach and person of his caliber join the Badger softball family."
Schneider was named the Horizon League Co-Coach of the Year in 2008 after his team, which was in its first year in the conference, finished in second place. In 2009, he led the Crusaders to a school-record 35 wins and a third-place finish at the Horizon League Championship. In addition, Schneider had 26 players awarded All-League honors and guided the program's first NFCA All-Region honoree in 2010.
"I'm really excited," Schneider said. "It's a wonderful opportunity to work for Wisconsin and to have the opportunity to work with Yvette. She is an outstanding softball coach and is poised to do great things. Obviously it's pretty exciting for myself and my family."
Off the field, Schneider's teams proved successful as well, boasting 36 NFCA Scholar-Athletes, eight CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees and the program's first Academic All-American in over 20 years. In the community, he helped the softball program start the "I Need a Hug" initiative, a program run by the softball student-athletes which in its six years of existence has grown exponentially and has placed many thousands of stuffed animals into local schools.