For UConn softball head coach Jen McIntyre, it all began in the pool

UConn softball head coach Jen McIntyre walks off the field after talking to her team. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

UConn softball head coach Jen McIntyre is in her third season with the Huskies. Her career is the culmination of seven NCAA tournaments on multiple coaching staffs, but her career in softball began as a player.

“I was a year-round swimmer for a very long time,” McIntyre said. “I was lucky to be able to compete as an athlete, and then I found the sport of softball and fell in love with it.”

“We were one of the top three grossing sports in the NCAA. They just expanded our World Series venue to include more fans. Softball just got back into the 2020 Olympics, so we’re pretty excited about the future of the sport,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre played third base at Penn State from 1995-98. In her time as a Nittany Lion, she earned the sixth all-time rank for stolen bases with 42. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. McIntyre was particularly successful her junior year, posting a .304 batting average and leading the team in runs scored and assists. This year earned her a CoSIDA Verizon Academic All-America selection. McIntyre graduated Penn State in 1998 with a degree in kinesiology.

It’s an opportunity to give back to students who still have their careers ahead of them. The sport can teach you a lot about life in dealing with adversity, facing challenges, and working as a team.
— Jen McIntyre

McIntyre went on to graduate school at Indiana where she also served as second assistant coach. She graduated in 2001 with a degree in kinesiology/sport management and athletic administration.

After graduation, she returned to Penn State and joined the coaching staff. She would spend 12 years there. At Penn State, McIntyre’s recruits were named to All-Big Ten teams 33 times. Her squad reached the NCAA tournament six times, including a regional final appearance in 2011.

After her tenure, McIntyre moved on to Boston University where she was the associate head coach. Her team won the Patriot League tournament and qualified for the NCAA regionals.

McIntyre became the head coach of UConn softball in 2015 and redeveloped the program.

“This is an incredible opportunity,” McIntyre said. “It’s an opportunity to give back to students who still have their careers ahead of them. The sport can teach you a lot about life in dealing with adversity, facing challenges, and working as a team.”

As for the future of women in sports, McIntyre is hopeful.

“My hope is that one day we don’t have to delineate between men and women. We’re athletes and we compete as athletes, whether we’re men or women. We want to be treated as an athlete first and foremost. We have the same opportunity to be successful and put our mark on the world.”


Rachel Schaefer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.schaefer@uconn.edu.