From Carnegie Mellon University Athletics
Monica Harrison has been named the first head softball coach in Carnegie Mellon University history. The hire comes following the announcement in late March that Carnegie Mellon will be adding softball as an intercollegiate sport, beginning with the 2019 spring season.
"Monica is an experienced softball coach and professional who has achieved a great deal during the course of her career. We were truly impressed with her vision for our new program and her commitment to student-athlete experience," said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "We had a talented pool of applicants and Monica emerged as the clear choice to lead our softball team."
Harrison, a native of Pittsburgh and graduate of Shady Side Academy, comes to Carnegie Mellon following a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Arcadia University. She became the program's first full-time assistant before the 2016 season and helped the Knights to back-to-back Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth Championship appearances along with two straight Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Championship Tournament titles. In her two seasons, Arcadia totaled eight All-MAC Commonwealth honorees, a MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, ECAC Division III South Rookie of the Year, as well as a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region selection.
"I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to return home to Pittsburgh and join the Tartans' staff as the program's first softball coach," Harrison said. "I am eager to take on the challenge of starting a new program. It is apparent to me that the university's commitment to excellence is not mutually exclusive to academics; it's inclusive of athletics and is displayed daily through the caliber of experience offered to the student-athletes. I couldn't be more proud to join such an accomplished department."
Prior to Arcadia, Harrison spent six seasons at Stevens Institute of Technology, where she assisted in all facets of the program from its inception as a varsity program. The Ducks posted a winning record in three of those seasons, and won a program-record 30 games as they advanced to the title round of the 2014 ECAC Championship Tournament. Stevens won 27 games in 2015 and was back in the ECAC championship final for the second consecutive year.
Harrison earned her bachelor's degree in economics with a concentration in sociology and minors in legal studies and African American studies from Bucknell University in 2007. She was a four-year letter winner for the Bison, where she served as team captain her senior year and earned NFCA and Patriot League all-academic honors. Harrison went on to a career in the private sector, working as a business manager for UBS in its Communications & Branding, Americas division on Wall Street.