Holly Bruder, a coach who has established a reputation for building fledgling softball programs, was given the responsibility of reviving the Lamar University softball program on Aug. 1, 2011.
Lamar, which had softball from 1983 to 1987,brought softball back inthe 2013 season. In her two seasons at Lamar, Bruder led the Lady Cardinals to surprising success off the bat, as the Lady Cardinals qualified for the Southland Conference Tournament in 2013, and just missed out on qualifying for the tourney on the final weekend of the 2014 campaign.
Bruder was 145-105 in her six seasons at Denison, winning four North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season titles and qualifying for the NCAA Division III Tournament on three occasions.
At Morehead State, she went 115-96, leading the Eagles to a second-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2008, the school's best finish ever, and third-place finishes in 2009 and 2010. She set a school record with 34 wins in 2008 before breaking it with 35 victories in 2009. Prior to her arrival, Morehead State had losing records in eight consecutive seasons and 13 of its previous 14 seasons.
Bruder began her coaching career at Albion College in Michigan in 1999 and 2000 where she was an assistant coach. In her short time there, she helped transform a downtrodden program into a contender, guiding the team into the conference tournament for the first time in three decades. From there, she spent one season as assistant softball coach and head women's tennis coach at Bluffton College in 2001, where her twin sister Heather is the current head softball coach. She helped Bluffton to the league's best record and the top spot in the tournament.
After a stellar prep career at Rogers City (Mich.) High School, Bruder was a four-year letterwinner and standout softball and soccer player at Alma College. She helped Alma win three conference titles and advance to the Division III College World Series in 1999, where her squad took third place nationally. She was named Second-Team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1999.
Among her other activities, Bruder coaches the USA Athletes softball teams, where she has had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Aruba and Australia as an ambassador for the game. She is also an ASA and NSA certified umpire and was on the Central Region All-America Committee from 2003-2006.