By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director

LOS ANGELES — The Occidental College softball program has a new leader.

Alison Haehnel, who spent the past three years as the head softball coach at NCAA Division III Concordia University Chicago, accepted Oxy's head coaching position on Monday, bringing the Rolling Hills native back to her Southern California roots.

Haehnel fills the spot left vacant when Jodie Cox departed for an assistant job at UC Riverside.

In three seasons with Concordia, Haehnel's teams tied and broke the school's single-season win record in back-to-back seasons, made their first Northern Athletics Conference postseason tournament and seven of her players were recognized on all-conference teams.

"Alison understands what it takes to run a successful softball program at a prestigious liberal arts college. She's committed to excellence, both on the field and in the classroom, she understands what type of student-athlete we're trying to attract and the unique experience Oxy has to offer," Occidental athletic director Jaime Hoffman said. "She comes highly recommended by some of the best coaches in the country and we're confident she can turn our program around."

Haehnel joins the Tigers officially on August 13.

"I am grateful to Jaime Hoffman for the opportunity and look forward to working with the staff and student-athletes at Oxy. Occidental College offers an excellent academic and athletic experience that I am proud to represent," Haehnel said. "I can't wait to meet the student-athletes and get to work on building a tradition of success for the softball program. I look forward to leading the Tigers to continued success on the softball field and in the classroom."

With Concordia, Haehnel also served as the senior woman administrator, the director of compliance and was an adjunct english professor.

She had stops as an assistant coach at St. Mary's, Washington College and her alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago, before her tenure with the Cougars.

In her playing career, she was an All-Great Lakes Region selection, the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year, First Team All-Horizon League, a Horizon League All-Tournament Team selection and named to the Midwest Collegiate Conference All-Newcomer Team. She graduated with a BA in english and a minor in spanish from UIC in 2004 and earned her Masters in instructional leadership from the school in 2008.