Former Massachusetts all-American and Olympic Gold Medalist Danielle Henderson returned to her alma mater in September 2013 as the associate head coach. This is her second stint on the staff after serving four years as an assistant and two as a volunteer assistant from 2000-05.
Henderson returns to UMass after six years as a private pitching instructor and the last three as assistant coach at Stanford (2013) and Ohio State (2011-12).
In 2013, the Cardinal went 39-21 and finished the season ranked 21st in the country, while advancing the finals of the NCAA Lincoln Regional. Kelsey Stevens was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team after compiling a 15-7 record, a 2.99 ERA, a team-high 163 strikeouts, seven shutouts and a perfect game against Virginia.
She spent two seasons at Ohio State where the Buckeyes won 45 games and were 31-23 in 2012. Senior transfer Mikayla Endicott amassed an 18-14 record, with three saves, a 2.56 ERA and 189 strikeouts.
Henderson worked six years on the UMass coaching staff under NFCA Hall of Famer Elaine Sortino from 2000-05. UMass went 242-97-1 during that time with five NCAA Regional appearances and five Atlantic 10 titles. In 2002, the Minutewomen established school benchmarks with a 33-game winning streak and 53 overall victories.
One of the most decorated athletes in school history, the Commack, N.Y. native was a three-time All-America, four-time All-Atlantic 10 selection and the only four-time A-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player in league annals.
She finished her UMass career with 25 school records and was second all-time on the NCAA strikeout list with 1,343 (currently 17th). As a senior in 1999, she set an NCAA record for consecutive scoreless innings, stretching out 105 empty frames from March 16-May 2. She also reeled-off a 26-game win streak (Feb. 27-May 21), which was the seventh-best streak in NCAA history (currently ninth).
In her four years in Amherst, she posted a 108-35 record in 161 appearances (964 innings), a 0.70 ERA, 72 shutouts, 135 complete games and threw an astounding 14 no-hitters and three perfect games. UMass won four A-10 championships, went 10-5 over four NCAA Regionals and advanced to the Women's College World Series in 1997 & 1998. She was named to the 1997 WCWS All-Tournament team.
She capped a brilliant career in 1999 by winning the Honda Award, given annually to the nation's top softball player. During the summer of that year she competed with the U.S. National Team that captured the gold medal at the Pan American Games and Canada Cup.
Henderson was a member of the gold-medal winning 2000 U.S. Olympic Softball team and the 2001 WPSL Gold team. In 2002 she was inducted into the New England Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2001, she had her jersey number 44 retired, becoming the first and only player in program history to receive such an honor. Her jersey is one of just nine in school history to be retired. She was inducted in the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
Henderson received her bachelor's degree in Sport Management from UMass in 1999. She also played professionally for four years in the National Pro Fastpitch league for the Akron Racers, Arizona Heat and New England Riptide.