KU Softball Coach Bunge Announces Retirement
April 24, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
University of Kansas Softball Coach Tracy Bunge announced Friday that she will retire from coaching, effective at the end of the season. Bunge has been a Jayhawk for 17 years – four as an award-winning pitcher and 13 as head coach – the longest-tenured and winningest coach in KU softball history.
As coach she led KU to 405 victories; 10 seasons of 30 or more wins, including five of the last six; four NCAA tournament appearances and the 2006 Big 12 Tournament Championship.
The Jayhawks were ranked in the national polls during portions of three of the last four seasons. Bunge has produced 13 first team All-Big 12 players, and in the Big 12 Championship season of 2006 she guided Serena Settlemier (22 home runs) to Big 12 Player of the Year honors.
Off the field, 81 KU softball players have earned Academic All-Big 12 recognition during Bunge’s tenure, including eight from last year’s team.
Bunge’s achievements on the field earned her induction into the University of Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987. The Jayhawks won 30 or more games three times and earned three Top-10 national rankings in her four seasons as a player, including a No. 5 final ranking in her All-American year of 1986. That year she threw 15 shutouts en route to a 0.55 earned run average. She also hit nine home runs that season. Bunge still shares the KU record for lowest career ERA – 0.68.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tracy, and I want to thank her for everything she’s done here,” KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins said. “She has been – and will continue to be – a tremendous asset to Kansas Athletics – first as a great student-athlete, and then as an excellent coach. We will continue to rely on her as we go through this transition, and we wish her every success as she pursues her career outside coaching.”
“This 17-year run has been a wonderful experience,” Bunge said. “I will always be a Jayhawk, and will continue to support the University and the softball program. It is time for a change in my professional career, and I am eager to take on some new challenges.”