HOLLY BRUDER | HEAD COACH
Holly Bruder, a coach who has established a reputation for building fledgling softball programs, enters her fourth season at Lamar University.
LU, which had softball from 1983 to 1987, brought softball back in the 2013 season, and Bruder made an immediate impact. The Cardinals won their season-opener in walk-off fashion over UTSA and ended the regular season with three straight walk-off victories over Houston Baptist to clinch a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament.
Bruder led LU to a record-breaking season in 2015, as the Lady Cardinals set new standards for wins, batting average, runs scored, slugging percentage and stolen bases en route to a third-place finish at the Southland Conference Tournament, their best showing ever.
LU went 26-28 in 2015, including a 14-10 mark in conference play, good for a fifth-place finish. Along the way, the Lady Cardinals posted the biggest win in program history, a 9-1 run-rule victory over No. 23 Texas.
A relentless worker, Bruder has spent countless hours helping make the brand-new LU Softball Complex a reality and one of the best venues in the Southland Conference. She had made numerous public appearances to promote LU softball and stresses the importance of community service to her players.
Bruder came to LU from Morehead State, where she went 115-96, leading the Eagles to a second-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2008, the school’s best finish ever, and third-place finishes in 2009 and 2010. She set a school record with 34 wins in 2008 before breaking it with 35 victories in 2009. Prior to her arrival, Morehead State had losing records in eight consecutive seasons and 13 of its previous 14 seasons.
Bruder was 145-105 in her six seasons at Denison, winning four North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season titles and qualifying for the NCAA Division III Tournament on three occasions.
Bruder began her coaching career at Albion College in Michigan in 1999 and 2000 where she was an assistant coach. In her short time there, she helped transform a downtrodden program into a contender, guiding the team into the conference tournament for the first time in three decades. From there, she spent one season as assistant softball coach and head women's tennis coach at Bluffton College in 2001, where her twin sister Heather is the current head softball coach. She helped Bluffton to the league's best record and the top spot in the tournament.
After a stellar prep career at Rogers City (Mich.) High School, Bruder was a four-year letterwinner and standout softball and soccer player at Alma College. She helped Alma win three conference titles and advance to the Division III College World Series in 1999, where her squad took third place nationally. She was named Second-Team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1999.
Among her other activities, Bruder coached the USA Athletes softball teams, where she has had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Aruba and Australia as an ambassador for the game. She is also an ASA and NSA certified umpire and was on the Central Region All-America Committee from 2003-2006.