Helen Peña has been selected as the new head coach for the Ball State softball team. Peña most recently served as the associate head coach at Middle Tennessee State University.
“Throughout our search process, we sought an individual with exceptional coaching ability and who demonstrates intentional efforts to grow human potential while developing a program," Ball State Athletic Director Jeff Mitchell said. "Helen Peña is the perfect coach for Ball State softball. Her devotion to student-athlete excellence encompasses a charge for our talented student-athletes to improve athletically, scholastically and socially. We are thrilled to have Coach Peña join the Ball State community as we continue to advance our softball program."
As associate head coach at Middle Tennessee State University, Peña led the Blue Raiders to their second-ever Conference USA Tournament title. This gave the team a berth in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final.
Before being defeated in the regional by fifth-seed Alabama, the Blue Raiders won three regional games. This is the most wins in a regional by a Conference USA team since 2014.
As pitching coach for Middle Tennessee, she helped the team rank 35th nationally with a 2.44 ERA.
Before joining the Blue Raiders, Peña was at the University of Memphis for five seasons. Prior to that, she was an assistant at Mento College for two seasons. While there, she helped the Oaks win 31 games, which was a program record.
Peña played collegiality at Cal Poly and was a part of two Big West Championship teams, the first being the program’s first-ever championship in 2007.
She graduated among the program’s all-time leaders in strikeouts (236), victories (28), shutouts (10), saves (2), ERA (2.36), complete games (14) and innings pitched (314.1).
“I could not be more grateful for Director of Athletics Jeff Mitchell and be more honored to be named Ball State University’s new head softball coach,” Peña said. “It is invigorating to hear Jeff’s vision for the athletic department and his passion for creating an environment that breeds empowerment and competitive excellence. There is a rich history of success that comes with this softball program, and I am eager to build on those foundations. It is an exciting time for Ball State softball, and I cannot wait to get started with this team, this athletic department and this community!”