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Gabriel resigns as UWRF softball coach

Jody Gabriel

Hudson resident Jody Gabriel announced her resignation as interim head coach of the UW-River Falls softball program last Wednesday, June 29, to take over as head softball coach at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

"It is very difficult to leave UW-River Falls after nine years of coaching the team," Gabriel said last Wednesday afternoon. "The team is an amazing group of young women and I know they will continue to be successful."

Faye Perkins will return as the team's head coach in 2012. For the past four years Perkins, who has a 324-328-2 career record in 18 seasons at UWRF, has been the interim dean of the University's College of Education and Professional Studies. Perkins will coach the Falcons and return to the University's health and human performance department as a faculty member.

Gabriel concluded her fourth year as interim coach of the Falcons in 2011 and led the team to the WIAC regular season and playoff championships. She led this year's team to a NCAA Tournament berth where the Falcons finished 2-2 in the Eau Claire Regional. Before taking over the Falcons as head coach in 2008, Gabriel was an assistant coach for five years.

The 2011 regular season title was the first for the Falcons since 1994, and the WIAC Tournament championship was the first in the program's history. The Falcons finished 28-15 overall and 13-3 in WIAC play. Gabriel led the Falcons to a 14-0 home record this year, the first time in Falcon softball history the team has finished undefeated at home.

Gabriel finished her coaching career with a 108-60 overall record and her teams were 38-26 in WIAC play.

Gabriel competed with the Falcons from 1994-96. The 1994 team won the WIAC title and competed in the NCAA Tournament. The 1994 team also had the second highest grade point average in the nation. She earned her undergraduate degree from UWRF in accounting in 1996 and her M.S.E. degree (social studies) from UWRF in 2000.

Gabriel, a social studies teacher at Hudson High School, was an assistant coach with the Falcons for five seasons before becoming head coach. She also coached at St. Mary's, Minn., University for two years where the Cardinals were co-MIAC champions in 2001 and placed second in 2002. In 2001 the Cardinals placed fourth in the NCAA National Tournament. She has also coached at the high school and traveling levels in Hudson and River Falls, Hastings and Forest Lake, Minn.