The all-time winningest softball coach in University of Illinois Springfield history will be the next Head Softball Coach at the University of Evansville as Mat Mundell will take the helm of the Purple Aces.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and me. I look forward to having the chance to coach at the highest level,” Mundell said. “The University of Evansville has high academic standards and I embrace the opportunity to recruit student-athletes who will succeed in the classroom and on the diamond.”
“I look to bring an exciting, fast paced, aggressive style of softball to the Aces,” he continued. “I want our team to be known as hard working and competitive as well as a squad that battles it out to the end every day.”
Since assuming the position of Head Softball Coach at UIS in 2009, Mundell has experienced unparalleled success. Guiding the program through a period of transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, Mundell guided the Prairie Stars to over 100 wins while recruiting and coaching 15 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Academic All-Americans and 24 Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Academic All-Conference players.
“We are very excited to have Mat Mundell join our athletic department at the University of Evansville as our next Head Softball Coach,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Dwight Merilatt said. “Mat has a very impressive background from the University of Illinois Springfield and we know he will transfer those talents to the Aces. Most importantly, Mat understands the overall impact of our student-athletes here at UE and as well will foster an environment of success on and off the field. Mat will be a great asset to our University and the Evansville community, I’m very confident he will set a new tone and vision for our softball program in the upcoming years”.
Other accolades his teams garnered included: three GLVC Council of President's Academic Excellence Award, four NAIA Academic All-Americans and two Division II ADA Academic Achievement honorees. In four seasons in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, 10 student-athletes earned all-conference accolades.
In 2014, Mundell coached sophomore pitcher Alex Smith, an All-GLVC second team selection who broke the school record for single-season wins and total strikeouts. The 2013 squad broke the school record for batting average (.277) and walks (142) while breaking the mark of total strikeouts (245) and a program-low 2.94 ERA.
Prior to that, the 2012 campaign was a milestone one for Mundell and the Prairie Stars. UIS won a school record 36 games while taking the Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division championship. The program made its first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance, which was the first for any sport in school history. The Prairie Stars, who also reached the GLVC Tournament and the NCAA Midwest Regional championship games, boasted four all-conference performers and two all-region players.
Mundell’s 2012 team rewrote the school’s offensive record books as his squad posted school records for team runs scored (263), runs batted in (220) and home runs (33). In 2010, his first season with the softball squad, Mundell led the team to an 11-game turnaround from 2009.
Under the tutelage of Mundell, the Prairie Stars excelled in the classroom, earning a team grade-point average of at least a 3.20 every season, including a program-best 3.43 GPA in 2014 to earn its first-ever GLVC team academic award.
Before taking over the softball program, Mundell served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at UIS from 2003-2009. He assumed several responsibilities including scouting, recruiting, game planning, scheduling and travel arrangements. In his time with the team, five players were recognized with various All-America awards.
A student-athlete himself, Mundell was a 3-year Varsity tennis player at Eureka College. He graduated with Bachelor’s degree in 2003. Mundell also studied education in his time at UIS. Mat is married to Kelly Mundell and the couple has newborn daughter Marlee.
“The University of Evansville is poised and in a position to take the Missouri Valley Conference by storm,” Mundell said. “We will make tremendous strides to return to the glory of the past.”