FAU Softball: Head coach Joan Joyce dies at age 81

The FAU legend broke records and surpassed multiple milestones.


Ryan Murphy

University Press Stock Image of softball head coach Joan Joyce.

Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

On Sunday afternoon, FAU Athletics announced that softball head coach Joan Joyce died at the age of 81 on March 26. The FAU legend broke records and surpassed multiple accomplishments and milestones.

On March 18, Joyce reached an achievement that only 41 coaches can say they have done, collecting her 1000th win as the Owls’ head coach. Adding one last milestone to her resume, her legacy will forever live on.

Joyce left an impression everywhere she went, whether it be on the field, course, or court. She made an impact on many student-athletes throughout her career.

Sports have surrounded Joyce since she was young. She played softball, golf, volleyball, basketball, and bowling.

Members of the National Softball Hall of Fame inducted Joyce in 1983 and the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame did the same in 1999.

In golf, Joyce holds the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the lowest number of putts, 17, in a single round.

Throughout her basketball career, Joyce played on the USA Women’s National Team, scoring 67 points in a single game of basketball in the AAU national tournament.

Joyce played for the Raybestos Brakettes, a softball team based in Stratford, Conn., from 1954 to 1963 and 1967 to 1975. She was a stellar hitter with a batting average of .467 in 1971, as well as a standout pitcher, having pitched 150 no-hitters and 50 perfect games throughout her career.

Joyce amassed a 1002-674-1 record as FAU’s softball head coach in 18 seasons, leading FAU to 11 conference titles, 11 NCAA postseason tournament appearances, and eight conference Coach of the Year awards.

Gianna Alberti is a staff writer at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected].