MADISON, Wis. -- Brent Vigness has been hired as the third softball coach in Wisconsin history, UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced on Thursday. Vigness (VIG-ness) joins the Badgers staff after spending 17 seasons at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
"We are excited about Brent joining our staff," Alvarez said. "He brings a wealth of experience and success to our program."
At Creighton, Vigness was a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and led the Bluejays to six Missouri Valley regular-season titles (1998-2000, 2007-09), six MVC tournament titles (1999, 2003-05, 2007, 2010) and seven NCAA regional appearances (1999, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2010).
"The University of Wisconsin provides an incredible opportunity for me and my family," Vigness said. "I'm excited to be part of a university with such a rich athletic and academic tradition. I want to thank Terry Gawlik and Barry Alvarez for making me feel welcome and putting faith in me as the next coach of Wisconsin softball.
"I'm excited to get to know the returning players and incoming recruits, and I'm looking forward to working with them to build and grow the softball program at Wisconsin."
Beginning with his first league title in 1998, Vigness' teams won a combined 11 MVC regular season and tournament titles. Those 11 championships are the most of any softball program in the conference over that span. He currently boasts a career record of 701-446-3 (.611), which places him among the top 40 active NCAA softball coaches.
In his tenure at Creighton, Vigness coached 10 All-Americans, four MVC Players of the Year, four MVC Pitchers of the Year, as well as one MVC Rookie of the Year.
"I want to thank Bruce Rasmussen and Creighton University for the opportunity they have provided for me and my family," Vigness said. "For the last 17 years, Omaha has been my home. It has been a great place to live, and it has been a very supportive community. I want to thank the people that have supported me in time at Creighton."
Vigness arrived in Omaha after leading Division II Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., to a 148-71-1 (.675) mark between 1989 and 1993. Vigness left as the winningest coach in Assumption College history. He was the Northeast 10 Conference Coach of the Year in both 1989 and 1991 after leading the Lady Hounds to the league regular-season title.
From 1986 to 1988, Vigness served as a student assistant softball coach at Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he graduated in 1988 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education and recreation. Central reached the Division III national quarterfinals in each of Vigness' three seasons, finishing as the national runner-up in 1986 and national champion in 1988.
A two-year letterwinner in football at Central, Vigness was named first-team All-Iowa Conference as a defensive tackle in 1987 as the Dutch won their fifth-straight league title.
Vigness' sister, Brenda Coldren, recently completed her eighth season as head coach at Indiana State. Vigness, 44, and his wife, Cris, have three sons - Brady (14), Boyd (4) and Bryce, born in August 2008.