Novak takes over for Lori Mayhew-Wood, who led program for 22 years
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (July 12, 2018) – Western New England University Director of Athletics Matthew LaBranche announced on Thursday that Amanda Novak has been appointed to the position of head softball coach. Novak, who has served as an assistant coach for the last seven years, takes over for Lori Mayhew-Wood, who led the program for 22 years before stepping down this summer to transition into a full-time administrative role.
"Amanda has been a tremendous asset to the Golden Bear softball program for the past several years," LaBranche said. "A true student of the game, Amanda has a great passion and knowledge of her sport. She is an effective communicator and knows how to build positive relationships with her athletes. These qualities will serve her well as a head coach. We are confident that the transition to Coach Novak will be seamless and that the softball program will continue to flourish as one of the top programs in New England."
Novak completed her seventh season as Mayhew-Wood's top assistant this spring, helping the Golden Bears win Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championships in 2015 and 2018. She has played a key role in recruiting and evaluation of potential student-athletes, game and practice planning, and skill development. Novak was also responsible for working with hitters and the defensive game plan for infielders.
A native of Cos Cob, Conn., Novak graduated from Springfield College in May 2011 with a bachelor's degree in movement and sports studies. She earned her master's degree in physical education with a concentration in athletic administration from Springfield in 2013.
"I am very humbled and excited to be given this opportunity to continue my coaching career at Western New England," Novak said. "I would like to thank Athletic Direct Report Dr. Sharianne Walker and Lori Mayhew-Wood for all of their help during this transition. I look forward to continuing and growing our Golden Bear softball traditions, and I can't wait to get to work!"
Novak was a four-year starter at first base and designated player for the Pride, helping Springfield reach the championship game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament her junior and senior seasons.
She made the all-tournament team at the 2009 NCAA Division III New England Regional after belting a clutch two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to give Springfield a 4-3 victory over Endicott College.
Novak hit .299 with seven homers and 28 runs batted in during her final season in helping the Pride to a 26-15 record. She made the All-NEWMAC Second Team and was selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Academic Team.
While at Springfield, she also was a member of the Pride Athletic Advisory Committee (PAAC) and served as a New Student Orientation leader for three years.