Head coach Jeff Franquet has agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the helm of the Central Connecticut softball program through the 2016 season. Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann made the announcement on Friday, June 21. Franquet's squad won the 2013 Northeast Conference Championship in early May, an accomplishment that completed a huge four-year turnaround for the program.
"I am very pleased to announce this extension for Coach Franquet on the heels of the most successful season in Central softball history," Schlickmann said on Friday. "Under Jeff's tutelage, our softball program has been on an upward trajectory for the past three seasons, setting countless records for team success. We are poised to be a perennial contender for the Northeast Conference Championship and establish ourselves as a premier program in the region. Coach Franquet has created a winning culture in our program that includes a commitment to excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. I am confident that he will continue to lead Blue Devil Softball to new heights."
The 2013 season was Franquet's fourth at CCSU and it was a historic campaign that featured the program's first NEC Tournament Championship, NEC Regular Season title, NCAA Tournament appearance and NCAA Tournament victory. The team also set a school record for victories with 36 and broke the school record for longest winning streak (12 games).
"I can't thank Paul (Schlickmann) and the athletic administration enough for the support of our program and the confidence in me and my staff to continue building the program to be one of the better programs in the Northeast," Franquet said on Friday morning. "All of this wouldn't be possible if we didn't have a group of terrific, hard working student-athletes on the team. When coaches get contract extensions it means you are doing the right things, and that is a direct reflection of your players. We talk about family-school-softball every day and this year the team's ability to deal with adversity and focus on the process of getting better every day has been unmatched. I am so proud of this team and I can't thank them enough for making this year one of the best ever."
In addition, under Franquet's guidance many of the Blue Devil players had exceptional and record breaking seasons, a fact that was highlighted by eight players earning All-Northeast Conference Honors at the conclusion of the regular season. In addition, Franquet and his assistant coach Breanne Gleason earned NEC Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
Franquet's squad broke the school record for wins during the final doubleheader of the regular season and then added four more wins in the postseason to set the single-season record at 36. The 2013 season marked the third consecutive year that the Blue Devils set a new program record for wins in a season.
Prior to Franquet's arrival, the CCSU softball team managed just nine wins during the 2009 season. In 2010, the first under Franquet, the program improved to 19 wins, then in 2011 to 29 wins and to 31 wins in 2012.
Franquet has led the Blue Devils to both of the NEC Tournament appearances (2011, 2013) in program history and in 2013 sophomore Kat Malcolm became the first CCSU player to earn NEC Player of the Year honors.
Franquet added, "We are looking forward to the future of the program-coming off such a historic season and the future is very bright. I am very excited about my contract extension and I appreciate the confidence Paul Schlickmann has in me and my staff to continue to guide and lead the program."