John Seneca will begin his sixth season overall and his second as the program’s head coach with the University of Delaware softball staff during the 2017 season.
Seneca served as assistant coach during his first four years, and was the program’s interim head coach during the final three weeks of the 2015 campaign. He was hired as the program’s full-time head coach following the season, and completed his first full year leading the program in 2016.
Seneca guided the Blue Hens to a 30-21 record, while Delaware earned its first trip to the CAA Tournament since 2013 by finishing fifth in the conference with a 9-9 league mark. Delaware then defeated Elon in the first game of the tournament, recording the school’s first CAA Tournament victory since 2004.
UD’s 30 wins tied for the fifth most in a single season and marked the second time in program history the Blue Hens recorded consecutive 30-win campaigns, along with 1999 and 2000. The season included a series win over Hofstra, as Delaware snapped a 27-game losing streak to the Pride and posted the first series win over its rival since the 2006 season.
Delaware led the CAA and set a school single season record with 101 stolen bases, and ranked second in program history with 255 runs scored and 33 homers, finishing behind only the 2015 squad.
Mariah Kondravy was named first team All-CAA, the first Blue Hen to earn first team all-league honors since the 2010 season, while Leanna Gearhart, Gabby Klecko and Anna Steinmetz were second team honorees. Delaware put four players on the All-CAA teams for the first time since 2004, while Steinmetz became the third Blue Hen in school history to earn conference Rookie of the Year accolades.
Kondravy was a second team All-Northeast Region selection following the year, becoming the fourth UD player to earn multiple All-Region honors, while Steinmetz was tabbed honorable mention All-Region.
Gearhart set UD single season records and led the CAA with 54 runs scored and 44 stolen bases, and ranked among the top 10 in the nation in both categories. Meanwhile Steinmetz tied Kondravy for the UD single season mark with 15 homers, which tied for the CAA lead and tied for fourth among Division I freshmen. Also Carolyn Szymanski was selected first team CoSIDA Academic All-District 2, the first Blue Hen to earn that award since 2009.
In 2015 Seneca helped lead Delaware to 30 victories, the fifth most in a UD single season, while the squad set school single season records for runs scored, RBI, doubles and home runs. Jessica Grisler graduated from Delaware as the program’s career leader in runs scored and hits, while Gearhart tied for the Division I lead with 11 triples and fellow freshman Kondravy belted a UD single season record 15 homers.
Following the season Kondravy became the first freshman in school history to earn first team All-Region honors, while Grisler was a second team pick. Kondravy and Gearhart were also named to the CAA All-Rookie Team, the third consecutive year the Blue Hens placed at least two players on the league’s All-Rookie squad.
“I am honored to become the head softball coach at Delaware, and I would like to thank the search committee for the opportunity,” Seneca said on the announcement of his hiring. “Having been a member of the coaching staff for the last four seasons, I feel that I have an excellent rapport with the players and administration. I am excited about the future of the softball program and cannot wait to get started.”
During his first year as an assistant coach in 2012, Seneca helped the Blue Hens win 15 games and qualify for the CAA Tournament.
In 2013 Delaware won 35 games, the second most in program history and one shy of the school record set in 2000. The Blue Hens established a new record by winning nine consecutive league games, while their 12 conference wins rank second in program history.
UD had a tremendous season at the plate, setting then-school single season records with 236 runs scored, 427 hits and 72 doubles.
Seneca served as head coach of the Allentown Patriettes from 2006-2011, leading the squad to a 201-36 record while competing in ASA, PONY, and USSSA regional and national tournaments. He also was the head coach at Saucon Valley High School from 2006 through 2009, guiding the team to a 68-28 record.
A native of East Stroudsburg, Pa. (East Stroudsburg High School), Seneca led the Panthers to four Colonial League and District 11 appearances, and coached eight first team All-League and All-Area players. Seneca is a 4-Star NFCC Master Coach and a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Seneca earned an electronics technicians diploma from DeVry University in 1984 and a degree in technical management from DeVry in 2015.
Seneca and his wife, Jessie, have two daughters, Lauren and Sarah.