UNI's Jacobs Signs 4-Year Contract Extension
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Tuesday 05/29/2012
University of Northern Iowa head softball coach Ryan Jacobs has signed a four-year contract extension through 2016, as announced today by Director of Athletics Troy Dannen.

"Coach Jacobs has done a remarkable job building UNI softball into a championship program," Dannen said. "What he's done to turn this program around is nothing short of phenomenal. He has been a terrific leader and mentor for the women in the program, while on-field results have given our fans and supporters reason to be enthused. More importantly, he has established a culture and a foundation which will allow for not only continued competitive successes, but enhanced personal growth and development opportunities for our student-athletes."

Jacobs, in his fifth season at UNI, guided the Panther softball team to only its second Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship, but its first outright title in league history. The Panthers captured the regular season title by 3 ½ games over second-place Illinois State with a mark of 21-4 in MVC play.

Jacobs took over a Panther softball program that had posted a combined league record of 17-55 in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Panther softball began to turn the corner in the 2009 season when UNI posted a winning mark in league play at 15-11. It was UNI's first winning season in MVC play since an 11-7 mark in 2000 earned the Panthers a share of the league's regular season title. UNI has not had a losing season in MVC play since 2008 and it's no coincidence that Jacobs has led the resurgence.

In 2012, UNI set school records for slugging percentage (.440), on-base percentage (.367), walks (161), and conference wins (21). Sophomore pitcher Jamie Fisher was named the 2012 MVC Pitcher of the Year after taking home MVC Newcomer of the Year honors just a season ago. The Panthers were also awarded the 2012 MVC Coaching Staff of the Year award for the second time (2009, 2012).

One of the major highlights of the 2012 season came when the Panthers strung together a 15-game winning streak from March 14 through April 7. The Panthers went from 13-9 overall to 28-9 and receiving votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Assocation top 25 poll. The 15-game win streak was UNI's longest such string at the Division I level.

UNI has had 10 seasons of 30 or more wins or more since its move to Division I softball in 1983. Jacobs has led the Panthers to three 30-plus win seasons in only five seasons. Jacobs's 152 wins ranks second on the Panthers' coaching wins list, trailing only Meredith Bakley's 631 career triumphs.

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