Softball’s Acker records 300th career win

By Carl Stoffers

Margie Acker was familiar with Kean University softball long before she became the Cougars head coach, which makes the former All-American’s recent milestone even more ironic.

“Kean was a powerhouse back when I played in the conference,” said Acker, “When I played at The College of New Jersey, we played in a regional final in 1992 against Kean. So, I knew the potential of the program when I took the job, I knew the program could be a national powerhouse again some day, and could compete for a national championship.”

Acker recently recorded her 300th win at the helm of the Kean softball team, a feat that no other softball coach in school history has achieved. She deflects most of the credit, however, instead focusing on the leaps and bounds the program took after falling on hard times prior to her arrival.

“I think we really focused on bringing in athletes who could compete in the conference,” Acker said, “and who also could get it done academically and play for all four years. So, retention has been a big part of it.”

In 2000, Acker inherited a Kean softball team that had recorded three straight losing seasons, including a dismal 13-30 record in 1999. She immediately set about turning the once-proud program into a winner again, and had the Cougars in the ECAC playoffs by 2006. The squad achieved postseason berths in seven of the next eight seasons and made it to the NCAA regionals in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

This season, as Kean is on pace for another NCAA bid, Acker’s 300th win over DeSales University on March 23 elevated the team to a 13-3 record and to the top of the NJAC standings.

“It is a great feeling,” said Acker, “but, I couldn’t have done it without any of the players that have come through the program, and all of their hard work. It’s the result of all of the hard work that everyone has put into the program, and buying into what we want to do year in and year out.”

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