Penn softball's head coach Leslie King is currently in her 18th season at the helm of the program. She has coached the team to its second-ever Ivy League championship in 2013 and their first NCAA playoff berth the same year. King has also instructed 49 players to 101 total All-Ivy honors. However, she is not without the help of her two assistant coaches. The Daily Pennsylvanian takes a look at Penn softball's assistant coaches:
2021 marks Danielle Gonzales’ ninth year with the Quakers. Under Gonzales’ watch, the Red and Blue have won 19 All-Ivy honors, three Ivy League Rookie of the Year awards (Leah Allen, 2014, Jurie Joyner, 2015, and Emma Nedley, 2019) and one Ivy League Player of the Year (Leah Allen, 2017).
Prior to making her way to Penn, Gonzales attended Saint Joseph's University for sports and entertainment marketing, where she was also a member of the softball team. She was a standout student-athlete as team captain her senior season, a two-time A-10 All-Conference performer, and she was named to the A-10 All-Tournament Team. In 2007, Gonzalez was named the Hawk's Most Valuable Player. She played for the program from 2005-09, then pursued a master’s degree in business administration while taking up a position as assistant coach for the Hawks from 2010-12. In that role, Gonzales helped lead St. Joe's to two consecutive Atlantic 10 Tournament berths.
With the new 2020 year came a new assistant coach for the Penn women’s softball team. Graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 and joining the Quakers fresh out of college, Nava Susi became the newest member of the coaching staff, leaving her collegiate career behind her. Although her two seasons with the team have both been abbreviated by the coronavirus pandemic, Susi has already left her positive imprint on the Quakers with her creative ideas. Her time as a recreational league softball coach in Davie, Fla., taught her the leadership skills that she is now using to make a difference on the Red and Blue.
Hailing from Boynton Beach, Fla., Susi graduated from Pitt with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a concentration in pre-medicine. She started her collegiate career at FSU, where she competed on the club softball team, before transferring to Pitt in 2017 to join their Division I program. Susi appeared in nine games for the Panthers her senior season, primarily as a pinch-hitter.
During her softball career with the Panthers, Susi became a 2019 NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete. Her talent was shown through not just her athletic skills but also through her academics. Susi graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a 3.96 GPA and was placed on the Dean’s List and the Athletic Director Honor Roll.
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