Judson University softball coach Becky (Stenning) Pearl has announced that she has accepted the position of head softball coach at NCAA Division II Lewis University effective August 4. Pearl has coached at Judson for 10 seasons and is the program's all-time winningest coach with 250 wins.
"I am very excited about this opportunity at Lewis, but I will miss Judson," said Pearl. "Words cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the 10 wonderful years. I have grown at Judson. The girls and the Judson family have all been such a great part of my life, and always will be."
Pearl arrived at Judson for the 2005 season, taking over a struggling softball program. She quickly set a firm foundation for her program. During her tenure the program evolved into a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference contender and a consistent participant at the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament. Pearl's teams made four straight NCCAA National Tournament appearances from 2010-2013.
She led the program to three 30-win seasons, including a program-best 39 wins in 2013. In 2011, her squad was the CCAC regular-season co-champion and she was named CCAC Coach of the Year. Behind Olivet Nazarene University and St. Xavier University, Judson has had the most wins in the CCAC since 2010. She coached the program's lone NAIA all-American (Nicole Dimiceli) and 27 CCAC all-conference players.
Pearl served as the NCCAA national chair for softball for three years from 2012-14 and regional chair for six years. Pearl was also instrumental in securing the Chicago Bandits to play on Judson's campus for three seasons which resulted in many improvements to the softball field.
"Becky has made a tremendous impact on the Judson community and the softball program here at Judson," said Judson director of athletics Joel Cotton. "She has helped many athletes and teams reach their full potential as student-athletes. She will be missed. She has built a strong foundation for the softball program and the future remains bright for whoever follows in her footsteps."
Pearl has big shoes to fill as the next head coach at Lewis University. She replaces George DiMatteo, who is retiring after completing his 31st season as the Flyers' head coach with 1,032 career wins.
A search for Pearl's replacement is underway.