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Softball Coach Profiles

Head Coach - Jen Banford


With a career record of 332-212 (.639) across head coaching positions at two universities, Banford brings a wealth of coaching experience and success at the college ranks.

She spent 10 years as the leader of the University of Minnesota Duluth’s (UMD) NCAA Division II softball program, accumulating six seasons with 30 or more wins, including four trips to the NCAA II Central Regional (2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012).  In 2013, Banford’s squad took home the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) regular season crown with a record of 41-13.  She was named NSIC Coach of the Year, as her team broke 23 single-season records.  Bansford has recruited and produced 26 NSIC/NCC All-Conference players, including two All-Americans and two Freshman of the Year award winners. 

In her most recent season, Banford was an assistant coach for Canada’s Senior National Team that placed fourth in the World Cup and third in the Canadian Open.  She has also served as a guest coach for Canada’s Junior National team events and tryouts since 2013.

Her players excelled off the field as well, where she had twenty NSIC/NCC All-Academic Team honorees, five NCC Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll, and two UMD Rasmussen Award/Student Athletes of the Year.  In 2009-10, two of Banford’s players were named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-District V team. 

The softball field was not the only place Banford found success while at UMD, as she served as the Director of Operations and Video Coach for the perennial powerhouse that is the school’s NCAA Division I women’s hockey program. UMD won two National Championships (2008 and 2010) and were Semi-Finalists once (2009) during Banford’s tenure working with the team.  She also assisted in the management and development of 15 Olympians from around the world. 

Prior to her time at UMD, she served one season as the interim head coach at Mayville State University.  While at the helm, Banford earned the school’s best winning percent in history, as her team compiled a 26-16 mark (.619).  She also had one player become the school’s first softball NAIA All-American honoree. In addition to coaching, Banford served as a Health and Physical Education instructor. 

A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Banford was a multi-sport athlete (softball, hockey, basketball, and volleyball) at Seaway District High School in Iroquois, Ontario, before graduating from Valley City State in 2003 with a B.S. degree in Health and Physical Education.  She then completed her Master of Science degree in Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science at North Dakota State University in 2005.  This past April, she obtained her United States permanent residency.


2015 Foothill Conference Champions
2014 Foothill Conference Champions
2013 Foothill Conference Champions
2012 Foothill Conference Champions
2014 Advanced to the Super Regionals
2013 Advanced to the Super Regionals
2014 Hosted 1st Round Regionals for 1st time school history
2013 Won 1st Round Regionals for 1st time in school history
2012 Reached the Play-offs for the 1st time since 2004​








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