Michigan State softball coach Jacquie Joseph retires after 29 seasons

Longtime Michigan State softball coach Jacquie Joseph retired Thursday after 29 seasons, the school announced.

Joseph will remain at the school in a sports administration role.

“While I will probably always identify as a coach, after nearly four decades on the bench, it’s time for a new challenge,” Joseph said in the school’s press release. “I had the honor of being the head coach for over 1,800 games, and I cannot overstate my gratitude to my players, coaches, administrators and staff for allowing me to live my professional dream. I am extremely proud of what my players have achieved on and off the pitch. They have provided me with a lifetime of memories.”

Joseph ends his MSU career with a record of 753-809-1.

“Jacquie Joseph has made a career out of positively impacting the lives of her student-athletes on and off the softball field,” MSU Vice President and Athletic Director Alan Haller said in the statement. “She has long been a valued voice in the athletic department and I look forward to her contributions in her new role. She genuinely cares about everyone in Spartan Athletics and is always willing to offer her perspective if it benefits to the department. Both of these attributes will serve him well in his new role.”

The announcement comes a day after the host Spartans lost in the first round of the Big Ten tournament to Maryland, 7-1, to end their 2022 season with a 24-28 record.

Joseph was asked about his coaching future at MSU after Wednesday’s game.

“We’ll take a minute and assess things. It’s always difficult when the season ends,” she said. “(There’s) a lot of emotion. It’s anticlimactic. You don’t want to make hasty decisions etc. But I’ll tell you this. Anyway, I was really blessed with “Being here. I’ve coached 34 years as a Division I head coach and it’s a blessing. And being at Michigan State for 29 (years) is even more special.

Joseph’s program enjoyed some success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including four NCAA regional appearances (1997, 1999, 2003, and 2004) and a Big Ten Tournament title (2004).

But since then, the program has struggled. The Spartans haven’t posted a winning record since 2016, had just three winning records since 2004 and haven’t finished above .500 in conference play since 2003.

“There’s no question that I think our program can be better (and) should be better,” Joseph said after Wednesday’s game, “because the community is hungry for it and I think they deserve it.”

A native of Flint, Michigan, Joseph spent five seasons as head coach at Bowling Green State University before taking the MSU job. Her coaching career also included stints as an assistant at Indiana and Central Michigan.

State Journal reporter Ryan Black contributed to this report.