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Softball assistant coach Kristin Hallam from her time at the University of Missouri (Photo courtesy of Hunter Dyke/Mizzou Athletics).

At the young age of 25, softball assistant coach Kristin Hallam has already started making her legacy at Penn. 

With the season set to begin in just a couple of months, eyes will soon turn to Penn softball, a team that has faced historic adversity — a trend that incoming assistant coach Hallam hopes to change. Hallam marked the start of her career at Penn after joining head coach Christie Novatin’s staff in July 2023.

A graduate of Hofstra University, Hallam studied exercise science as an undergraduate before completing a master’s gegree in Educational Leadership and Administration at the University of Missouri. Naturally, Hallam is no stranger to softball, having racked up an impressive career as a player before transitioning to coaching. Over her four-year Hofstra career, Hallam played — and started — 184 games. She left Hofstra having ranked among the top ten in program history for batting average, hits, runs, and stolen bases. 

While at the University of Missouri, Hallam got her first taste of coaching as an assistant with the team, and she has not looked back since. Hallam was compelled to move closer to home on the East Coast. As the current Quaker assistant coach, Hallam works with the defensive side and assists with recruiting — a job that she tackles with a unique enthusiasm. Hallam cited “all the relationships I get to build and having an impact on people’s lives,” as her motivation.

In regards to recruiting, Hallam has an evident passion for passion itself. For her, standout players are those who are willing to put in the effort necessary to support their team. As she remarked, at the end of the day, she seeks out players who are "good people with a passion for the game." Knowing that coaches spend thousands of hours working with players, it is especially important for Hallam that every player on her roster has a stellar attitude alongside their playing ability. 

Speaking on the transition from being a player to a coach, Hallam admitted that the change was “a little tough in the beginning.” For someone who has spent the majority of their life on the field, sitting on the sidelines was a disconcerting experience. However, it was also one that Hallam found to be the most rewarding. “Aiding in their progress is all the satisfaction I need," Hallam said. 

Hallam credits her experiences as a player as a large factor in helping her to become a better coach. 

“There are things my coaches did that I absolutely loved as a player and there are things that I wouldn't necessarily agree with now," she said. "Going through that experience being a D-1 athlete myself, I can put myself in their shoes.” 

In this regard, Hallam considers her past experiences on the field as a cornerstone of the foundation for her coaching career. 

“Life-Liaison” is the term coined by Hallam that best describes her aim for the softball program at Penn. She strives not only to facilitate a positive environment that allows players to thrive, but also to be that person who always has a player’s back, both on and off the playing field. 

In terms of career milestones, Hallam is focused on improving the defensive line and the team’s fielding percentage. Her ultimate goal is to secure an Ivy League Championship win for Penn, however, her outlook is refreshingly optimistic, “I’m still growing and learning what I want my goals to be for the rest of my career.”

When it comes to the legacy Hallam hopes to leave at Penn, it’s a short — albeit sentimental — message.

“I hope to be that person that makes people say ‘wow, I really loved to play for that coach.’” If her passion for the game is any indication of her commitment to this goal, Hallam is on the fast track to achieving it.