MILLIGAN PROMOTED TO SOFTBALL HEAD COACH AT TUFTSMEDFORD -- Softball wasn't the main reason Cheryl Milligan decided to enroll at Tufts University in 1991.She was a shortstop out of North Penn, Pennsylvania recruited by Division I programs, but it was the academic opportunity that led her to Medford.
Softball would soon become the most important part of her
experience at Tufts
and three teammates from the Class of 1995 led the young program to regional respect over their four years.
Since then, the Tufts softball program has blossomed into one of New England's best.
was a part of six of those teams as an assistant coach, including the 2000 squad that won the NCAA New England championship and played in the College World Series.
Unexpectedly, the next chapter of Milligan's involvement with the Tufts softball program has now begun.
...Milligan has been promoted to Head Coach of the Jumbos on an interim basis.
"Our main priority was to maintain the continuity of one of our most successful programs," said Director of Athletic Bill Gehling
is highly respected by both present and former players and by the softball community.
...Milligan, 30, played shortstop for Herman in every inning of the 120 games during her Tufts softball career.
...Along with Jodi Beach, Beth Arruda and Jen Dellagalla, Milligan was a member of the class that vaulted the softball program into annual post-season contention.
However, it was the team's exclusion from the NCAA Tournament that season that Milligan
said was a major turning point for the program.
"We seniors were upset about that," she
said."We were good enough to go and didn't go.It lit a fire for the rest of the team, and they built on that."
After living in California for a few years after graduation, Milligan
returned to Massachusetts in 1997.
For two seasons, Milligan
handled grunt work for the team such as bed checks on the road and the laundry.In 2000 she took on a greater coaching role, serving as the team's hitting and outfielders instructor.She
worked with All-Americans like C/OF Randee McArdle and C Lis Drake.
"The kids are very positive about it," Milligan
said."It's important that they walk in and don't see a stranger.There will be some changes, but there's no need to reinvent the wheel here."The seventh Tufts graduate to become a head coach at her alma mater, Milligan is the fourth head coach of the Tufts softball program.She
follows Herman (1988-2003), Dave Caputi (1986-87) and Lori Ford (1985).Born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Milligan attended North Penn High School in Lansdale.She will also serve as the director of the intramural program at Tufts.
...Milligan earned a graduate degree in education from Tufts in 1999, in addition to her undergraduate degree in biology and environmental science.She is currently in the midst of coursework towards a Ph.D at the Tufts School of Nutrition, but isn't sure about her plans towards that pursuit now that she has a new job.
"Softball became more a part of my life at Tufts
than it was for anyone I ever met," Milligan
said while sitting in her