One of the most successful coaches in Division I softball, Frank Griffin is in his 21st year as head coach of the Stetson softball team.
Griffin has amassed 898 career victories during his 27 seasons, an average of over 33 wins per year. His victory total currently ranks him 24th among active NCAA Division I coaches and 38th on the all-time Division I coaches list.
During his 20 years at Stetson, Griffin has led the Hatters to 673 wins, 18 appearances in the A-Sun Softball tournament, two regular season championships, two conference tournament titles and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2016, the Hatters hit the 30-win marker for the fourth year in a row, despite having a young pitching staff of one sophomore and three freshmen. The Hatters stole 108 bases, the third-highest single-season total in school history. Brittany Hawn was named A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year.
Stetson went 30-20 in 2015 and entered the Atlantic Sun Championship as the No. 6 seed, yet won three tournament games, including elimination games vs. North Florida and Kennesaw State. The Hatters set school records for on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and fielding percentage.
Stetson posted one of its most successful seasons in school history in 2014, going 39-14 overall and 17-8 in conference play. The Hatters ran the table in the Atlantic Sun Championship, going 4-0 en route their first conference title since 2007. In the NCAA Tournament, Stetson rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the top of the seventh to defeat UCF 6-4 in eight innings, posting their first NCAA postseason win in school history. The Hatters also received votes in the USA Softball Top 25 poll in three different weeks and the team was ranked as high as No. 32 in the NCAA RPI report (Mar. 30).
During the 2014 campaign, Griffin won his 800th career game overall and 600th as coach of the Hatters. He also coached in his 1000th contest at Stetson in the Atlantic Sun Championship game.
In 2013, the Hatters used a 14-1 streak early in the season and a 10-3 stretch late to reach the 30-win mark for the 11th-time in Griffin's tenure. Stetson shattered the school record by hitting 45 home runs in just 53 games, and in the postseason, set an all-time A-Sun tournament mark with 14 runs in a win over Florida Gulf Coast. Meredith Owen was selected to the all-conference team both as a pitcher and as a hitter, and a trio of freshmen were uninamously selected to the league's all-freshman team.
The 2012 season saw Griffin lead the Hatters to a bounceback campaign and a return to their typical winning form, going 26-22 overall and 9-9 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Stetson became the first #6 seed since 1998 to win its first two games in the A-Sun tournament. Postseason honors went to center fielder Chrissy Morello (Second Team All-Atlantic Sun), pitcher Courtney Brandt (A-Sun All-Freshman Team, A-Sun All-Tournament Team) pitcher Meredith Owen (A-Sun All-Tournament Team, All-Conference Academic Team) and first baseman Carolyn Boyd (All-Conference Academic Team).
Griffin earned his 500th victory as Stetson's head coach on February 18, 2011 as the Hatters beat South Dakota State 10-2 at Patricia Wilson Field. Two players ended up earning all-conference honors: third baseman Jill Semento (First Team All-Atlantic Sun, First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District) and center fielder Chrissy Morello (Second Team All-Atlantic Sun, A-Sun All-Freshman Team).
The 2010 season saw Griffin lead the Hatters to an excellent comeback from a disappointing 2009 campaign, turning a team picked to finish 10th in the Atlantic Sun Conference into a second place squad by year's end. The Hatters went 34-21 and 14-6 in conference play with four Second Team All-Atlantic Sun honorees; pitcher Amanda Lindsey and catcher Jessica Lokeinsky earned NFCA All-Southeast Region honors as well. Griffin earned his 700th career victory on March 9, 2010 when Lindsey threw a no-hitter against Austin Peay at Patricia Wilson Field.
In 2008, Griffin brought the Hatters to the Atlantic Sun Tournament finals for the third consecutive season, reached the 40-win mark for the third year in a row and the fifth time in the last seven seasons, and picked up his 400th Stetson victory on the first day of the season. Stetson picked up two victories in the conference tournament, including a triumph over Lipscomb in Griffin's 1,000th game as a Division I softball coach and an extra-inning thriller over Mercer.
The 2007 season provided many highlights for Griffin, including his 600th career win, which came against Dartmouth on March 22, but none were bigger than his Hatters rallying from the brink of elimination with three consecutive victories in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament to claim the program's first A-Sun Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in its history.
With Stetson's final regular season win of 2006 against Jacksonville on May 6, Griffin reached his 350th victory at Stetson. That year Stetson softball earned its seventh straight conference championship appearance, going in as the top seed in the 2006 A-Sun Conference Championship after posting a school-record 16 regular-season league wins. Griffin led his Hatters to a school record 23 shutouts and the second highest win percentage in the programs history at .738.
Griffin opened the 2005 season with his 500th career win in the first game of the season on Feb. 5, then later reached another milestone with his 300th win at Stetson on April 8. With a 35-20 overall and 13-7 A-Sun record in 2005, Stetson earned its sixth straight league tournament berth. The Hatters continued to enjoy the home field advantage with a .707 (29-12) winning percentage, bringing their three-year total to 85-20 for an .810 perentage.
Griffin guided the 2004 Stetson softball program to a record-tying 45-win season and its fifth consecutive conference tournament, seventh in the past eight years, after winning a record-tying 14 league games. For the second season, the Hatters also boasted a successful home performance with a 29-5 mark at the new Stetson Softball Field.
After a another successful regular season, including a third-place league finish, Griffin led his 2003 squad to its sixth Atlantic Sun Conference tournament appearance during his seven years with the program. The Hatters also enjoyed a .900 home winning percentage with a 27-3 record after a 18-0 start at their new on-campus field.
While ending up 45-14 overall and 12-6 in the conference, which was good enough for fourth, the 2002 squad broke numerous school records including wins in a season and season winning percentage. The Hatters set a new school and conference mark with a 28-game win streak that lasted from Feb. 16 until March 24. The team also gained national recognition by receiving votes in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Poll for the first time in the program’s history. Griffin also reached a milestone that season with his 400th career victory with a 10-7 win over Cornell on March 17. After notching a 9-5 Atlantic Sun record, Griffin’s 2001 team finished in a three-way tie for regular season champions.
On March 18, 2000, Griffin became the winningest coach in Hatter softball history as the Hatters defeated Youngstown State, 3-2. It was his 104th win at Stetson. That season, Griffin led the Hatters to a school-record 38 wins and a second-place finish in the A-Sun tournament.
In 1998, the Hatters enjoyed one of their best seasons in school history compiling a 36-20 record and a third-place finish at the conference tournament. Stetson's amazing turnaround from a 21-25 record in 1997 ranked 20th among most improved Div. I softball programs in 1998.
These positive results on the field would not have come without Griffin’s hard work behind the scenes. In his first five years at Stetson, Griffin spearheaded a movement to bring the softball program to a major sport status. In 1997, the program had just 2.3 scholarships to award student-athletes. That figure was raised to 5.3 in the 1998 recruiting year, raised to 8.3 in 1999 and to 10.7 in 2000. In the summer of 2001, Griffin was able to award a full 11.7 scholarships to softball student-athletes. In addition, the softball program received a $150,000 budget increase over the next three seasons. The increase allowed Griffin to hire Stetson’s first two full-time assistant coaches, one of which (Vanessa Bataille) has been with the Hatters ever since and now holds the title of Associate Head Coach.
Griffin has also led a fundraising effort for Patricia Wilson Field, the six-time National Field of the Year winner that is the crown jewel of Atlantic Sun Conference softball facilities. Construction on the facility began on April 29, 2002 and the team began fall practice on the field on Oct. 21, 2002. The 2003 season marked the inaugural season on the new field for the Hatters, but additions and improvements to the complex continued for six years as the team building that opened in the summer of 2008 marked the capstone to the project. Patricia Wilson Field seats 1,000 spectators in chairbacks behind home plate, two picnic areas and bleachers beyond the left field fence. A full concession stand with restrooms, in additon to a press box, VIP lounge, TV/radio booth, two bullpens and batting cages, are among the amenities located on-site. A brand-new scoreboard and video graphics board was installed in time for the start of the 2011 season.
While at Stetson, Griffin has coached 42 A-Sun Pitchers of the Week, 26 A-Sun Players of the Week, 23 first-team all-conference players, 31 second-team all-conference players, four third-team all-conference players, 19 all-freshman team players, two A-Sun Players of the Year, two A-Sun Defensive Players of the Year, one A-Sun Freshman of the Year, three A-Sun tournament MVPs, five first-team all-region performers, eight second-team all-region players, one third-team all-region player, and one third-team NFCA All-American. Griffin has had seven players earn CoSIDA Academic All-District and two to be chosen CoSIDA Academic All-America. He also earned 2001 A-Sun Coach of the Year honors.
Griffin’s association with the Hatter softball program began in 1996 as an assistant coach. Stetson placed third in the league posting a 29-25 record that year.
Prior to arriving at Stetson, Griffin spent seven years as head softball coach at Winthrop University (1983-89) in Rock Hill, S.C. With the Lady Eagles, Griffin compiled a record of 225-87, won six conference titles in seven seasons and led Winthrop to three NAIA National Tournaments. 1984-85 was arguably his finest year as he led Winthrop to a 33-12 record and seventh-place finish at the NAIA National Tournament.
Griffin also played fastpitch softball for the Rock Hill Merchants for five seasons. In 1988 Griffin pitched his team to the South Carolina State Championship and was named team MVP. The Merchants went on to win the Southeast Regional in 1988 and again 1989. When he was not pitching, Griffin saw time at first base and in the outfield.
A 1983 Winthrop graduate, Griffin played soccer where he was named MVP and captain, earned all-district honors three-straight years, and broke numerous school records. In February 2008, he was inducted into the Winthrop University Athletics Hall of Fame, and in November 2014, he was indicted into the Stetson University Athletics Hall of Fame
Following graduation from Winthrop, Griffin became an assistant and then head soccer coach for three seasons (1987-89). Griffin became the first South Carolina native to earn an "A" coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation.
Griffin and his wife, Marla, reside in New Smyrna Beach.
Griffin's Year-By-Year Results