Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced on May 31, 2018, the hiring of head softball coach Pete D’Amour.
D’Amour joins the Hokies after two seasons as the head coach at Kennesaw State, where he led the Owls to a 79-37 record and two postseason appearances. Before taking over the Kennesaw State program in 2017, he earned a reputation as one of the nation’s premier recruiters during his 10-year tenure as assistant coach at the University of Missouri, a perennial NCAA tournament participant.
D’Amour coached Kennesaw State to the 2018 Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships en route to the program’s first NCAA Regional appearance since transitioning to the Division I level in 2006, as the Owls finished the year with a 39-17 record. In his inaugural year as head coach at Kennesaw State in 2017, he guided the Owls to a 40-20 overall record and a berth in the National Invitational Softball Championship.
Prior to accepting the head coaching job at Kennesaw State, D’Amour spent a decade at Missouri as an assistant coach, serving as associate head coach for his final two seasons in 2015-16. During his tenure in Columbia, the Tigers qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of his 10 seasons on the staff, reaching five NCAA super regionals and earning three consecutive trips to the Women’s College World Series from 2009-11.
Kennesaw State went 39-17 and 14-3 in the ASUN this past season and earned a No. 3 seed in the Tallahassee Regional. D’Amour was named ASUN Coach of the Year and seven Owls earned ASUN all-conference accolades, including ASUN Pitcher of the Year Alley Cutting and ASUN Freshman of the Year Patricia Awald. Awald was one of 25 finalists up for NFCA National Freshman of the Year. Kennesaw State entered this year’s NCAA tournament ranked No. 34 in the RPI, a program-best, while competing in arguably the best mid-major conference in the country.
In D’Amour’s first season at Kennesaw State, the Owls went 40-20, the program’s first ever 40-win season, and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Softball Championship. The Owls peaked at No. 47 in the RPI and led the ASUN in all major offensive categories, including batting average (.303), runs scored (302), hits (505), doubles (83), triples (19), home runs (45) and slugging percentage (.456). D’Amour also helped Courtney Sutter and seven other student-athletes earn ASUN postseason accolades.
The Monrovia, Maryland native made a name for himself nationally as a staunch recruiter and a developer of pitchers and catchers in his decade on the coaching staff at Missouri. D’Amour, who called pitches for 11 no-hitters with the Tigers, mentored 11 NCAA Division I All-Americans, two SEC Freshmen of the Year, three conference pitchers of the year, a national earned run average leader and a defensive player of the year. The Tigers won two Big 12 championships in 2009 and 2012 and finished in the top three of the SEC twice thanks in large part to D’Amour’s connections in the fertile recruiting grounds of California. In two seasons as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, D’Amour put together FloSoftball’s third-ranked recruiting class in 2017, and the Tigers went to back-to-back super regionals. D’Amour was a part of three coaching staffs that earned NFCA Midwest Staff of the Year honors.
D'Amour earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in business, English and history, and a master's degree in sports psychology from the University of Missouri. He started throwing underhand at the age of four while serving as batboy for his father's fast-pitch team. He played shortstop and pitched men's fast pitch for seven seasons, including three in the ISC Travel League and was the MVP of the NSA World Series in 2007. During his last ASA National Tournament, D'Amour hit .500 (7-for-14) with three home runs. He also played one year of college baseball at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, where he was an infielder, in addition to a one-year stint at Frostburg State.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“Not only did Virginia Tech get one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever played for, its athletic department gained one of the best people I’ve ever known. I can’t wait to see the positive impact Pete has on this program and his student-athletes. If it’s anything like my experience with him as my coach, these student athletes will walk away from their four years at VT and be the best people and players they can be! Virginia Tech is lucky to have him!”
– Chelsea Thomas, three-time All-American at Missouri
"I’ve been playing softball for 20 years and Pete is easily one of my favorite coaches. Pete can coach every single part of the game well, as well as develop great relationships with his players, and not many coaches out there can do that. Virginia Tech made a great hire and I’m excited for Pete and the future of the program."
– Sami Fagan, 2016 NPF Rookie of the Year, JWSL player for Japan's Honda Reverta, All-American at Missouri
"To say Virginia Tech is lucky is a complete understatement. Coach Pete turned our team from barely making the conference tournament to winning our first-ever conference championship, which led to Kennesaw State’s first NCAA Regional appearance. For me personally, he altered my style of hitting from slapping to power hitting. Coach Pete transformed me into a player that could make a difference on and off the field! The last two seasons of my college career with Coach Pete as head coach were definitely the highlight of my softball campaign. He enhanced my love for the game, and I will cherish it forever. Thank you, Coach Pete."
"Coach Pete put the KSU softball program on the map. He helped me take my game to a level I never imagined I could play at. I will forever be thankful for him stepping into my life as my coach for two years. I wish I could have played for him longer. Virginia Tech is so lucky to have him!”
– Lauren Bennett, Kennesaw State
– Noelle Winkles, Second-Team All-ASUN at Kennesaw State