Mary VandeHoef is stepping down as Hope College softball coach after 12 successful seasons with the Flying Dutch.

Since 2011, VandeHoef has guided the Flying Dutch to three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances, two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season championships, and a .625 overall winning percentage.

A nationwide search for a new softball head coach will begin immediately, Director of Athletics Tim Schoonveld said.

“Mary has been an amazing representation of all we look for in Hope Athletics. Her legendary competitive spirit has created highly successful teams and her care and concern for the women on those teams have led to lives being transformed,” Schoonveld said. “Her commitment to a culture that changes lives has produced women that are changing the world. To see the amazing alumni who have come from her program is something very special.

“We are grateful for all she has done, and while we are very sad to see her leaving, we are excited for her and looking forward to seeing where God takes her. She is a great friend, colleague and someone we will miss leading our program.”  

Hope recorded a 272-163-2 overall record during VandeHoef’s tenure. This season, the Flying Dutch went 26-12, including a runner-up finish in the MIAA Tournament and a second-place MIAA record of 13-3.

VandeHoef ranks second in all-time Hope softball coaching victories to Karla Wolters, who went 513-320 and won four MIAA titles over 23 seasons from 1988 through 2010.

VandeHoef led the Flying Dutch to nine 20-win seasons, including a 34-12 mark in 2018 when Hope finished as the Division III Super Regional runner-up.

Hope finished runner-up in the MIAA regular-season standings four times and qualified for the MIAA Tournament 10 times during VandeHoef’s tenure.

VandeHoef coached a two-time Fastpitch News All-American pitcher in Sydney Jones (2018 and 2019), 12 all-region honorees, three All-MIAA Most Valuable Players and 23 All-MIAA First Team selections.

Six VandeHoef-led Hope teams claimed the MIAA Team GPA Award, including the past four teams in a row (2018-21). She also was involved as a leader with the Hope Athletics Sport Evangelism to Equip Disciples (SEED) program, leading teams to Zambia in 2017, 2018, and 2019.