Jenny Allard, the Ivy League's longest-tenured coach and one of its most successful, enters her 23rd season as head coach of the Harvard softball program in 2016. Allard owns a 565-417-3 overall record, including a 268-100-1 Ivy League mark.
Team and individual success have gone hand in hand during Allard's tenure. All six of Harvard's Ivy League titles, each of its six 30-win seasons and its five NCAA Championship berths have come under the watch of Allard, who has lead Harvard softball for half of the program's existence.
Allard's teams have produced 59 first-team, 58 second-team and 33 honorable mention All-Ivy selections, as well as six Ivy League Players of the Year, six Ivy Pitchers of the Year and four Ivy Rookies of the Year.
In 1995, her first season at the helm, the Crimson posted a 28-14 overall record, a second-place finish in the Ivy League (9-3) and made its first postseason appearance in the ECAC tournament. The team again qualified for the ECAC tournament in 1997 after posting a 32-19-1 record.
In 1998, Allard led the Crimson to the most successful season in the history of the program, as the team recorded a 34-22 record, captured its first Ivy League championship with a perfect 12-0 league record and earned its first bid to the NCAA Championship, where it defeated Boston College in the regional.
The Crimson was rewarded for its outstanding season with 10 All-Ivy League selections. Five of those players-including Ivy Player of the Year Tara LaSovage and Pitcher of the Year Tasha Cupp-were named to the first team. Four were second-team selections, and one received honorable mention.
The 2000 season saw Harvard compile an 11-1 league record, giving the Crimson the Ivy title and an NCAA tournament berth. Allard and Harvard followed that with a second straight Ivy title after posting an 11-3 League mark in 2001.
Allard guided the Crimson to a 31-10 record in 2002, the best mark in the history of the program. That squad closed out the season by capturing the ECAC championship.
Allard led Harvard to a 22-20 overall record in 2004, including a 9-5 Ivy League mark. Kara Brotemarkle earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Year honors. In 2005, Allard coached the Crimson to a 9-5 Ivy League record for the second straight year.
Harvard returned to the top of the Ivy League standings in 2007, posting a 31-15 record and a 14-6 Ivy League mark. Allard's Crimson followed up their regular season success by winning the inaugural Ivy League Championship series against Penn and advancing to the NCAA tournament. Pitcher of the Year Shelly Madick and Rookie of the Year Lauren Murphy were all-region honorees and were among six All-Ivy selections from the Crimson. In 2008, Allard lead Harvard to their second consecutive Ivy North Championship and had nine players earn All-Ivy honors. 2010 saw the Crimson go 17-3 in conference play, capturing the Ivy North Division title and taking Cornell to three games in the Ivy League Championship Series.
2011 was a record-breaking season for the Allard-led Crimson, as the team set a new school record for wins in a season (36) and Ivy League wins in a season (18). For the first time in school history, and second in the history of the Ivy League, Harvard produced the league Player, Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, and matched a program high with 10 All-Ivy selections. Harvard swept the Ivy League Championships Series against Cornell and advanced to the Tucson, Ariz., Regional in the NCAA Tournament.
Harvard was able to repeat its success in 2012 as the Crimson posted a 35-15 overall mark and breezed to the Ivy League Championship Series with a 17-3 league record. A sweep of Penn in the championship series earned Harvard a spot in the NCAA Seattle Regional where it notched upsets over Maryland and No. 23 Texas Tech in back-to-back elimination games to earn the program's first berth in an NCAA Regional final. Jane Alexander '12 was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Year in her senior season, and Rachel Brown '12 picked up her second straight Ivy League Pitcher of the Year award. In all, 11 players earned All-Ivy League accolades.
In 2014, Harvard broke the all-time program record for consecutive wins, collecting 18-straight victories, including 11 Ivy League wins. The team turned in its second-straight runner-up finish in the Ivy League North Division standings.
The 2015 season boasted four more first team All-Ivy League selections and two All-NFCA Northeast Region choices, as Harvard posted its third-straight runner-up in the North Division.
In 2016, Allard guided a potent mix of young talent and experience to the best record in the Ivy League (16-4) and the North Division crown. Seven student-athletes garnered All-Ivy League honors with Morgan Groom and Rhianna Rich earning Pitcher and Rookie of the Year accolades, respectively.
A 1990 graduate of the University of Michigan, Allard started her collegiate career as a third baseman, but stepped up to fill a pitching vacancy her junior season. She was named the Wolverines' Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Pitcher. Allard was a four-time All-Big Ten Conference selection, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors as a senior. She was a two-time first-team Mideast Region selection.
In 1989, Allard was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a Division I All-America selection and was nominated for the Honda Broderick Award. She was the recipient of the school's Conference Medal of Honor, an award given to the highest-achieving female student-athlete. Named to the Big Ten All-Decade team in 1992, Allard ranked in the top four all-time in 15 hitting and pitching categories at the time of her graduation from Michigan.
Allard earned a master's degree from the Harvard School of Education in 1999 and a master's in psychology from the Harvard Extension School in 2003.