Aug. 15, 1997

Virginia Names Sprangel to Head Softball Program

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- Cheryl Sprangel, the women's softball coach at the University of Toledo, has been named head softball coach at the University of Virginia. The announcement was made today by UVa senior associate director of athletics, Craig Littlepage.

Sprangel, a native of Addison, Mich., replaces Peggy Kellers, who stepped down in June to take a position of programs' assistant within the athletic department at UVa. Kellers spent five seasons at the helm of the UVa softball program.

In 14 seasons at Toledo, Sprangel led the Rockets to three Mid-America Conference titles and a winning record 12 times. In addition to the three conference titles, Sprangel's teams posted a 466-355-1 record for a .568 winning percentage. Toledo finished in either first or second place nine out of 14 seasons under Sprangel's direction. Sprangel's record in MAC play is 247-125-1 (.662) . Her teams won at least 35 games on five occasions and recorded at least 20 wins within the MAC seven times.

Sprangel's 1989 team captured the NCAA Midwest Regional title and advanced to the College World Series, where the Rockets eventually tied for seventh place. That represents the furthest a Toledo women's program has advanced on a national scale. Sprangel's teams earned top 20 national ranking in 1985, 1989, and 1992. The 1992 squad was ranked first in the Midwest Region.

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to work at Virginia," said Sprangel. "I think I can provide some stability for the program, while also helping to promote the sport in the state. I plan to build a program which can be successful year after year."

Prior to her stint at Toledo, Sprangel was an assistant coach at Central Michigan during the 1983 season. She also spent two seasons coaching softball, volleyball, and basketball at the high school level in Lansing, Mich.

Sprangel earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Michigan State in 1979 and a master's degree in athletic administration from Central Michigan in 1986. In her playing days, Sprangel earned four letters as a standout pitcher at Jackson Community College and Michigan State.

"Cheryl Sprangel is a veteran coach who has always gotten the most out of her teams," said Littlepage. "She is a good fit for our softball program."

Sprangel's appointment is effective September 1.