University of Pittsburgh head softball coach Jodi Hermanek announced Tuesday, August 21 the hiring of Jillian Van Wagnen as an assistant coach on the softball staff.
Van Wagnen, a former student-athlete under Hermanek at Ohio University, joins the Panthers’ staff after four years in the same position with the Bobcats. She also served as Ohio’s recruiting coordinator and was primarily responsible for coaching outfield, slapping and base running.
“Coach J will serve as a viable asset to the success of Pitt Softball,” said Hermanek. “We have a sustained history of success working together and that type of loyalty is irreplaceable. Jillian is an amazing recruiter of talent and character. She will also oversee the defense, our slap offense, base running, speed training and athletic development.
“Her care of the student-athletes, professional conduct and passion for the game is the ideal representation of what Pitt softball’s culture is all about. There is no better coach or person I would want on this mission with me.”
A four-year walk-on at Ohio University, Van Wagnen played her collegiate career for Hermanek from 2009-12. She garnered All-Mid Atlantic Conference (MAC) Second Team honors in 2012 and was a member of the MAC All-Tournament Team in 2011. Van Wagnen also earned Academic All-MAC accolades during both of those years.
Throughout her four seasons, the former Bobcat started 161 games. Van Wagnen posted a career .308 batting average and 69 stolen bases, which ranks third in program history. She was also a part of Ohio’s 2011 MAC East Conference Championship team.
“I am so excited for the opportunity to join Coach Hermanek at Pitt,” said Van Wagnen. “I am eager to hit the ground running with a staff and group of student-athletes who are ready to compete.”
As an assistant coach with the Bobcats, Van Wagnen helped Ohio reach the NCAA Tournament in 2018, as well as win the 2018 MAC Regular Season Championship and back-to-back MAC East Division Titles (2017, 2018). She also guided multiple players to All-MAC honors as well as MAC All-Freshman accolades.
Prior to her time with the Bobcats, Van Wagnen spent two years at Newman University as an assistant coach, focusing on the outfield.
A native of Lorain, Ohio, Van Wagnen earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ohio University in 2012 and completed her master’s degree in recreation and sport sciences in 2016.