History beckons once more for Illinois State head softball coach Melinda Fischer, as she became the 18th NCAA Division I coach to reach 1,000 career victories in an 8-2 win over Northern Iowa at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Fischer, a 2010 inductee into the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame, is in her 30th season at the helm of ISU and won two games in the MVC Tournament to reach the milestone. Fischer took over the program in 1985 and is currently the 11th-winningest active coach in Division I softball.
On the road to 1,000, milestones and honors have piled up for Fischer. She is the winningest coach in Illinois State athletics and is a two-time inductee in the Illinois State Percy Family Hall of Fame, as both a player and a coach.
Clearly, Illinois State is home to the living legend. Fischer played four years for the Redbirds from 1969-73 and was an integral part of the 1969 team that came up just one game shy of the first Women’s College World Series title.
After earning her master’s degree at ISU, Fischer began her coaching career at Eastern Illinois. In her two-year stint in Charleston, she compiled a 41-25 mark before ISU called her home. Fischer served three years as the head women’s basketball coach before moving back to the diamond to lead the Redbird softball team.