Head Coach Jaime Wohlbach
Jaime Wohlbach begins her second season as the University of Delaware softball head coach during the 2012 season.
Wohlbach (pronounced "wall-bock"), immediately began to turn the Blue Hen program around during her first season in Newark, leading Delaware to the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. The Blue Hens finished 21-34 overall and placed fourth in the league with a 10-11 conference mark.
Michelle McKinnon, Gina Knutson and Amanda Stacevicz each earned second team All-CAA honors during Wohlbach's first year, while McKinnon was also a CAA All-Rookie Team selection.
"We are excited to welcome Jaime to the University of Delaware family and we look forward to future success under her leadership," said University of Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Bernard Muir at the time of Wohlbach's hiring. "She brings great enthusiasm for the game of softball and has shown outstanding success in leading student-athletes as a coach and instructor and in her career as a player."
Wohlbach earned a Bachelor's degree with honors in Elementary Education and Special Education in 2000 and a Master's degree in student affairs of higher education in 2002 from Kutztown (Pa.) University.
"First and foremost, I would like to thank Bernard Muir and the University of Delaware for the tremendous opportunity to build on the tradition of athletic excellence fostered by the previous coaches," said Wohlbach. "I'm thrilled to be part of a university with such rich traditions. I'm looking forward to getting to know returning players and incoming recruits, and working with them to build and grow the Blue Hen softball program."
Wohlbach arrived at Delaware following three seasons at the helm of Iona, where turned around the Gaels' program as well. She guided a squad that had not posted a winning season in five years to one that captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2010 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program's 25-year history.
She was named the MAAC Coach of the Year in 2010 when she coached the league Pitcher and Rookie of the Year. Over her final two seasons at Iona she coached nine all-conference selections, two league Rookie of the Year winners, an All-Region selection, and an ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Prior to joining the Gaels, Wohlbach served as an assistant coach at Lehigh University in 2006-07, working as the team's hitting and catcher's coach while also assisting in practice sessions and strength and conditioning workout programs. She began her college coaching career as a student assistant at NCAA Division II Kutztown in 2000-01, volunteer assistant at NCAA Division III Muhlenberg College in 1999-2001 and at Lehigh in 2001-02, and as an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002-03.
Since 2002, Wohlbach has run a national and international softball clinic called Fastpitch Performance. The camps and clinics have provided instruction for all levels of the game and have taken her all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Belgium and Australia. Her international reputation has garnered her contacts and recognition from both amateur and professional organizations and sponsors.
Wohlbach's coaching and instructing experience came during the off season of her extensive international playing career. Her professional resume in the United States began after graduating from Kutztown University in 2000. She signed with the Tampa Bay FireStix in the former Women's Professional Softball League for the 2001 season. Wohlbach moved on to the National Pro Fastpitch League where she was selected in the fourth round of the December 2003 draft by the California Sunbirds, a team located in Sacramento, Calif. She played for the independent league Nebraska Comets before returning to the NPF's Philadelphia Force for the 2006 season.
While playing professionally in the U.S., Wohlbach also played for and coached several professional teams in Europe. She has excelled at the international level throughout the world, including tours in the Czech Republic and a stop in Great Britain. In 2004 and 2005 she played professionally in New Zealand and on a world all-star select team, which included players from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Africa and the United States.
Earlier in 2004, Wohlbach played for the Great Britain National Team in Athens as a test run to the 2004 Athens Olympics; winning a gold medal by defeating Russia, the Czech Republic and Greece. From 2001-2004, Wohlbach coached an 18-under USA All-Star team in Australia as a follow-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also played professionally in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Greece, and coached a youth all-star team in Italy.
Wohlbach was a four-year standout at Kutztown, serving as a three-time team captain and becoming the first graduate of her school to play a professional sport. She earned All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors as a catcher during her junior and senior campaigns as well as being named to the All-Region Team in 2000. She was the team's Most Valuable Player in 1999 as well as a nominee for the school's Female Athlete of the Year.
Assistant Coach Lauren Cognigni
Lauren Cognigni begins her first season as an assistant coach with the University of Delaware softball team in 2012.
Cognigni, a four-year letterwinner and 2008 graduate of Saint Joseph’s University, will serve as the Blue Hens’ pitching coach.
Cognigni was beginning her third season at Marist College this spring, and was instrumental in helping the Red Foxes improve from eighth place in the MAAC in 2010 to a second place finish a year ago. The Red Foxes’ earned run average dropped nearly two runs, from 5.71 in 2010 to 3.79 in 2011, as Marist showed a 23-win improvement.
She also helped Red Foxes pitcher Emily Osterhaus improve from a 3-12 record an a 4.95 ERA in 2010 to a 15-10 mark with a 3.14 ERA last season.
Prior to arriving at Marist Cognigni spent the 2009 season serving as an assistant with her alma mater, working primarily with the outfielders and pitchers while serving as the first base coach.
Cognigni was a four-year standout at Saint Joseph’s, leaving the program as the all-time leader with 534 career strikeouts. She fired the second perfect game in school history as a freshman, and also tossed a pair of no-hitters during her career.
Assistant Coach Tenaya Tucker
Former Charlotte standout Tenaya Tucker has joined the University of Delaware softball program as an assistant coach and will begin her first season with the Blue Hens in 2012.
Tucker, a native of Antelope, Calif., recently completed an outstanding career at Charlotte, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and psychology. She started all 54 games for the 49ers this spring, setting a school single-season record with 12 home runs while also pacing the squad with a .388 batting average, 66 hits, 17 doubles, and 47 RBI.
Tucker was selected to the first team All-Atlantic 10 and was tabbed the 49ers’ Team MVP this year, while she was a first team All-Mid Atlantic Region and NCCSIA All-State selection as both a sophomore and senior. Tucker, who served as the 49ers’ catcher, finished her career at Charlotte ranked second in school history with 123 RBI, second with 18 home runs, and tied for second with 43 doubles.
An excellent student as well, Tucker was named to the Dean’s List in 2007, was selected to the Athletic Directors List three times, and was an Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference selection this spring.
Additionally Tucker was very active in the Charlotte community, volunteering with the Food for Families, Adopt a Family for the Holidays, RuBiRu, and Stroll for Epilepsy programs. She helped build a playground for underprivileged children and read books to students at Albermarle Elementary School during 2008, while she was a tutor for elementary school children and worked with Operation Christmas Child in 2010.
Tucker was a hitting and catching instructor at All Star City during her final three years in Charlotte and was a hitting, pitching and catching instructor at the All-American Softball School in Roseville, Calif. during the summers of 2007 through 2009.