Michelle Venturella
Michelle Venturella
Title: Head Coach
Phone: (314) 935-8549
Email: mventurella@wustl.edu
Year: 2nd Season


2009 27 26 0 .509 - -
2010 22 35 0 .386 - -
2011 25 24 0 .510 - Regional
2012 25 27 0 .481 - -
2013 23 25 0 .479 - -
2014 16 28 0 .364 - -
2015 24 22 0 .522 - -
2016 33 18 0 .647 - -
TOTAL 195 205 0 .488 - 1 NCAA
2017 27 14 0 .659 1st Regional
2018 16 14 0 .533 3rd -
TOTAL 43 28 0 .606 - -
CAREER 238 233 0 .505 1 UAA  2 NCAAs 

Michelle Venturella was named the third Washington University in St. Louis softball coach in program on July 6, 2016.

Venturella guided WashU to a 27-14 overall record in her first year on the Danforth Campus, and the Bears qualfied for the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in the last 16 years. She directed WashU to the 2017 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship, earning 2017 UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

Taylor Arends, Anna McKee and Hannah Mehrle were named to the 2017 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Midwest Region Team, while Arends was selected to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America Division III Softball Third Team.

For eight seasons Venturella served as head coach at NCAA Division I University of Illinois at Chicago. She ecorded a 195-205 (.488) record at UIC, leading the Flames to four Horizon League regular season championships (2009, 2013, 2015, 2016) and a Horizon League tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011. The South Holland, Ill., native was also a three-time Horizon League Coach of the Year honoree (2009, 2013, 2016).

Venturella has a 222-219 (.503) in nine seasons as a collegiate head coach.

Venturella was a standout catcher for Indiana University from 1991-95, earning All-America honors in 1994 and 1995, and was inducted into Indiana’s Hall of Fame in 2012. She was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1994, and was a member of the 1994 Big Ten Championship Team.

Venturella had a six-year stint on the USA National Team, playing on the 1998 World Championship Team and earning a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She was also part of the first-ever Olympic softball team as an alternate in 1996.

She led UIC to the Horizon League regular season championship in 2016 after posting a program-best 18 conference wins and a 33-18 overall record. The 33 wins are the most since the 2005 season. Venturella mentored Elaine Heflin to Horizon League Pitcher of the Year and Lexi Watts to Freshman of the Year accolades.

Upon taking over the program in 2008, she guided UIC to 16 wins in conference play during the 2009 campaign and a trip to the conference championship game. The Flames also won the Horizon League regular season title.

In 2011, Venturella led the squad to a 25-24 mark and a Horizon League Championship. She also returned the team to the NCAA Tournament, a feat they had not accomplished since 2004.

Venturella guided the Flames to a 24-22 record and a Horizon League Championship in 2015, and Heflin and Tiana Mack-Miller brought home Horizon League Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors, respectively.

Venturella mentored 32 student-athletes to Horizon League all-conference honors while at UIC, including 21 first-team honorees. She also saw eight student-athletes earn National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region honors, including first-team honoree Sarah Clynes in 2009.

Venturella’s teams also excelled in the classroom, with eight individuals earning UIC Academic Athletes of the Year honors and the top female sport grade point average at UIC in 2016.

Before arriving at UIC, the former catcher spent six seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Iowa under head coach Gayle Blevins. In that role, she served as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach, while also mentoring the team's catchers. During her tenure in Iowa City, Venturella assisted the Hawkeyes to a record of 251-116 (.684), including five NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2003, Iowa claimed both the Big Ten regular season and tournament title.

Prior to her time in Iowa City, she served as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois University under Donna Martin during the 1997 season. Following her stint with the Huskies, Venturella spent the next five years training for the USA National Team, while working as a technical representative for Louisville Slugger. Venturella also served as a personal instructor, in addition to being a motivational speaker.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in physical education and health from Indiana in 1996. Venturella received a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University-Irvine in 2016.

Venturella Highlights

  • 43-28 record (.606) record in two seasons at WashU
  • 238-233 (.505) in nine seasons as collegiate head coach
  • 2017 NCAA Tournament 
  • 2017 UAA Champion
  • 2017 UAA Coaching Staff of the Year
  • 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-American® - Taylor Arends
  • Gold Medalist at 2000 Olympic Games
  • Inducted into Indiana University Sports Hall of Fame in 2012

Updated May 6, 2018