One of the most successful coaches in the nation, Lori Mayhew-Wood completed her 22nd season at her alma mater in 2018.
The Westfield, Mass. native, and 1995 Western New England University graduate, has a sensational 567-315-2 career record for a .643 winning percentage against many of the top squads in the region. She is the winningest coach ever in any WNE sport since the institution was founded in 1919. Her teams have won 79 percent of their conference games, going 311-80-1 since 2000.
Mayhew's final season as head coach in 2018 was a memorable one, as she led the Golden Bears (25-18, 12-6 CCC) to their second CCC title and seventh conference championship overall. Needing just one win to capture the crown in the championship round at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., Western New England rallied from a late 4-3 deficit with a five-run seventh inning to defeat the Gulls. The Golden Bears' seventh all-time trip to the NCAA Tournament included an extra-inning victory over Husson and a pair of exciting contests against regional power Amherst College.
In 2017, Mayhew guided the Golden Bears to their fifth straight 20+ win season and 17th in the last 18 years. Western New England posted a record of 24-11 (13-5 CCC), which included an 8-2 season-opening trip in Florida. Six players garnered All-CCC accolades, including senior shortstop Gabby Lavinio, a first team selection, and freshman utility player Aimee Kistner, who collected Rookie of the Year honors. Both Lavinio and Kistner were also named to the NFCA All-New England third team.
Mayhew led Western New England to an impressive season in 2016, as the Golden Bears went 15-3 in CCC action (23-18 overall) on their way to the top seed and hosting rights for the conference tournament. Six players earned All-CCC recognition, including the Player and Pitcher of the Year in junior Gabby Lavinio and senior Heidi Grieger, respectively.
Mayhew was named the CCC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season as the Golden Bears exceeded expectations after being selected third in the Preseason Coaches Poll. The 2016 campaign also featured a career milestone for the Western New England Hall-of-Famer, who reached the 500-win mark following a pair of thrilling, extra-inning victories over Smith on March 24.
Western New England enjoyed an historic 2015 campaign in which the softball program became the first women's sport at the University to win a Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship (by 37 minutes as Women's Lacrosse followed suit on Saturday, May 2). The Golden Bears advanced to their first NCAA Division III Championship appearance since 2006, had their first 30-win season (against only 9 losses) in six years and enjoyed a New England regional ranking.
For her efforts, Mayhew was named the CCC Coach of the Year for the first time while mentoring conference pitcher of the year senior Lauren Zambrano who was among six all-CCC performers.
The 2014 Golden Bears went 23-18 overall (six of the losses were by one run) and 11-7 in conference play, finishing runner-up in the CCC Tournament for the first time since 2011. Mayhew coached a combined 11 academic all-conference/All-CCC selections.
During the 2013 campaign, Mayhew orchestrated one of the best turnarounds in the program's history as the Golden Bears went 27-19 after going 17-23 the previous season--a seven-game improvement and raising their winning percentage by 162 points. Western New England pinned regular-season champion Endicott's only CCC loss in 2013. The Golden Bears also swept defending CCC champion University of New England early in the season, and lost only 1-0 to then-No. 9-ranked Plattsburgh State during their Florida spring break trip. Even more impressive is the notion that WNE accomplished these feats using a 22-player roster that included 16 freshmen and sophomores.
Mayhew chalked up win No. 400 on March 19, 2012, when the Golden Bears came from behind to defeat Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 4-2. She's the first coach in any sport in the distinguished history of WNE athletics to reach that milestone. Despite the program's first sub-.500 record (17-23) in 13 years, eight Golden Bears received all-conference or academic all-conference recognition in addition to Coach Mayhew's 400th career victory.
Mayhew directed her squad to a 27-18 record in 2011, which was the program's 12th consecutive winning season. Her team finished second in the CCC with an 18-6 mark and placed second for the third straight season in the CCC Championship.
Western New England ended its season by participating in the 2011 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Championship for the fifth consecutive year.
In 2010 the Golden Bears posted a 26-20-1 record and tied for third in the CCC.
Western New England compiled a 30-16 record in 2009 for its seventh 30th-win showing. The Golden Bears finished second in the CCC with an 18-6 ledger and second in the conference championship.
In its first season in CCC, Mayhew directed her squad to a 29-16 record in 2008, which included an 18-6 mark that tied for second in the league. Western New England defeated Curry for its 600th all-time win and Mayhew gained her 300th all-time victory against Fitchburg State.
Mayhew guided the Golden Bears to a 31-18 record in 2007 and a second-place performance in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament in their final season in the league.
Western New England captured five consecutive GNAC Tournament titles from 2002-06 and played in five NCAA Division III Championship.
In 2006, Mayhew directed the Golden Bears to a 37-10 record that was the second highest win total in the program's history. WNE captured the conference tournament title after winning a triple header on April 30 against Pine Manor and Suffolk twice (including 4-2 in the championship game). Western New England placed first in the conference during the regular season with a 23-1 mark.
Western New England captured its first CCC title in 2015.
The Golden Bears split a pair of contests at the 2006 NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship before rain canceled the remainder of the tournament.
Mayhew led her squad to a 39-6 record in 2005, which was a school record for wins (breaking the old mark of 34 set in 2002). The Golden Bears placed first in the GNAC during the regular season with a perfect 24-0 record, won the conference tournament crown, and finished third in the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Championship.
Western New England was ranked 15th in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III poll.
During the season, Mayhew reached a milestone with her 200th career win against Emerson and her squad recorded the program's 500th all-time victory against St. Joseph, Connecticut.
Western New England compiled a 33-11 record in 2004 and tied the school record with a 28-game winning streak.
The 2003 season was one for the record books as the Golden Bears posted a 32-7 record and captured its first NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship title. The school reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time and finished 10th in the final NFCA Division III poll. At the time, this was the highest ranking ever by a Western New England team in any sport.
Mayhew directed her team to a then school record 34-9-1 mark in 2002 and the squad's first GNAC Tournament title and appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship. When her team defeated Roger Williams University in the national tournament, it was the first win ever by Western New England in any NCAA Tournament competition.
Mayhew led the Golden Bears to a 22-9 record in 2001 and a spot in the ECAC Division III North Tournament for the first time in nine years. Western New England enjoyed a 21-13 record in 2000, which was the team's first 20-win season since 1991.
Mayhew was the GNAC Coach-of-the-Year in both 2002 and 2004.
Mayhew ranks among the top players in school history. She still holds the career record for hitting with a .403 average. Mayhew established a single-season mark with a .485 average her senior season despite a nagging back injury that later required surgery.
She earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Western New England, and obtained a master of education degree in sport management at Springfield College in 2003.
Mayhew was inducted in the 2001 Western New England University Downes Athletic Hall of Fame, becoming the first softball player to join this elite group. Her 2003 team that reached the NCAA Quarterfinals was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2008.
She is also in her 15th year serving as the equipment director at Western New England, supervising the equipment room staff and responsible for ordering the athletic department's team uniforms and equipment. She is also charged with home game set-up and tear-down as well as contest management, and was elevated to Assistant Athletic Director in Spring 2015.
The Lori Mayhew Coaching Record (22 seasons)
|1998||12||14||0||.462||no affiliation||WNE 14-20 overall (Eric Geldart was 2-6); assoc. HC in '97|
|1999||15||17||0||.469||no affiliation||1st full season as the head coach|
|2000||21||13||0||.618||13-4/T-1st West||1st 20-win yr. since '91, GNAC Finals, 3 All-GNAC Tournament|
|2001||22||9||0||.710||14-3/2nd-West||GNAC Semifinals, 5 All-GNAC players|
|2002||34||9||1||.773||20-3/2nd||GNAC champions, 1-2 at NCAA Tournament|
|2003||32||7||0||.821||19-2/1st||College World Series, No. 8 NCAA finish, sweep GNAC titles|
|2004||33||11||0||.750||23-1/1st||Sweep GNAC titles, NCAA Tourn., 4 All-GNAC (COY, PiOY)|
|2005||39||6||0||.867||24-0/1st||Sweep GNAC titles, 3rd at NCAA Regional, 7 All-GNAC picks|
|2006||37||10||0||.787||23-1/1st||NCAA Tournament, Sweep GNAC titles, 2 All-America/Academic AA|
|2007||31||18||0||.633||18-4/T-1st||GNAC Finals, ECAC New England runner-up, 4 All-GNAC|
|2008||29||16||0||.644||18-6/T-2nd||5 All-CCC, 1-2 at ECAC New England Championship|
|2009||30||16||0||.652||18-6/2nd||ECAC New England Tourn., CCC runner-up, 5 All-CCC choices|
|2010||26||20||1||.564||16-7-1/3rd||CCC Finals, ECAC New England Tourn., 3 All-CCC 1st teamers|
|2011||27||18||0||.600||18-6/2nd||ECAC New England & CCC Finals, 4 All-CCC|
|2013||27||19||0||.587||13-5/3rd||ECAC 2nd Rd, 3-2@CCCs, 14 All-CCC/Academic|
|2014||23||18||0||.561||11-7/T-5th||11 All-CCC/Academic picks|
|2015||30||9||0||.769||14-2/1st||Sweep CCC titles, NCAA Tournament, COY|
|2016||23||18||0||.561||15-3/1st||CCC Regular Season Champions, CCC Coach of the Year, Six All-CCC Selections, Two All-Region|
|2017||24||11||0||.686||13-5/2nd||Six-All-CCC selections, Two All-Region|
|2018||25||18||0||.581||12-6/3rd||CCC Champions, NCAA Tournament, Six All-CCC Selections, One All-Region|
|Totals||567||315||2||.643||311-80-1 (.795)||7 NCAA berths, 15 conf. titles (reg. season & tournament), 5 All-Americans/Academic AA