Western Illinois University has a new head softball coach, and her name is Alisa Goler, the department announced Tuesday (June 23).
She will serve as the Leathernecks’ fourth head coach in program history, after experience on staff at Pennsylvania State University, Syracuse University, and Roosevelt University.
“I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to lead the Western Illinois softball program,” said Goler. “I want to thank Danielle Surprenant, and the entire search committee, for believing in me as a coach and person. The chance to be back in my home state of Illinois is truly a dream come true. I cannot wait to meet the team and begin to get to work.”
“I am very excited to welcome Alisa to Western Illinois Athletics as the new head softball coach,” said Director of Athletics Danielle Surprenant. “Her passion for student-athlete success, both on and off the field, quickly became evident during the search process. Alisa is an accomplished player and coach, and I look forward to watching her lead the Leathernecks to the next level.”
As an assistant coach, Goler was responsible for boosting Penn State’s offensive production at the plate. She spent two seasons in Happy Valley, and the first highlighted several single-season milestones alongside two All-Big 10 selections.
Under her tutelage, the Nittany Lions hit a program-record 49 home runs in 2019, while also combining for a .261 batting average (sixth all-time in program history) and a .427 slugging percentage (third all-time).
Prior to her stop at Penn State, Goler spent three seasons at Syracuse (2016-18), where she served as recruiting coordinator and the infield and hitting coach. She was named associate head coach ahead of the 2017 season, and the year resulted in single-season records in batting average (.307), hits (433); and on-base percentage (.388).
Four players were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region that year, which tied a program record, and Goler also had a hand in Sydney O’Hara’s historic 2017 season. The NFCA Third Team All-American owned a .476 batting average, .626 on-base percentage, and .833 slugging percentage that set single-season records at ‘Cuse.
A three-time All-American at the University of Georgia, Goler began her coaching career at Roosevelt University in 2014, where she served as the hitting coach. Her highly-decorated playing career included four first-team All-Southeast Region selections, three first-team All-SEC honors, and finalists recognition for the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. She also set UGA single-season records for batting average (.455), slugging percentage (.994), on-base percentage (.551), home runs (24), extra-base hits (41), RBI (83), and total bases (164).
Off the field, Goler was a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and a member of the SEC Community Service Team. She earned first-team Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors and CoSIDA Academic All-District first-team honors in 2011. She enjoyed seven years of professional play in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), after being drafted by the Chicago Bandits in 2011. She was named Rookie of the Year in 2011 and was a two-time All-NPF Team honoree.
Goler graduated from Georgia in December 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and leisure studies and a master’s of education in the same field in May 2012.