IOWA CITY, Iowa – Former University of Iowa standout, Carol Bruggeman, will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame as a member of the 2023 class.
Bruggeman was a member of the Iowa softball team from 1984-87. She was an All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region selection. Off the field she was recognized as an Academic All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and received Iowa’s Athletic Academic Medal of Honor. In 1997, she was inducted into the Iowa Softball Association Hall of Fame. In 2020, Bruggeman was the recipient of the Dr. Michael Teague All-Star Award, which salutes significant contributions to the program and achievements in the sport and recreation industry.
A native of Charter Oak, Iowa, she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business from Iowa in 1987 and continued her education at Iowa, earning a master’s in athletic administration and coaching in 1990.
Bruggeman joined the NFCA full-time as Associate Executive Director in September 2014, after a long career and over 700 victories as an NCAA Division I coach at Michigan, Purdue and Louisville.
In 2015, Bruggeman took on the role of Interim Executive Director of the NFCA and in 2016 was named the Executive Director. While with the NFCA, Bruggeman has helped to increase membership by 63 percent, sponsorship revenue has increased 433 percent, and events have increased in both the number offered and overall attendees during Bruggeman’s tenure. In October 2022, the Association eclipsed 6,300 members, setting a new overall record.
She was recently recognized as one of Louisville Business First’s 2022 Most Admired CEOs. The award recognizes CEOs who are innovators, standard-bearers, role models and exceptional leaders. Their contributions impact the company they head as well as the community in which they serve. A commitment to financial success, quality, workplace wellness, diversity and philanthropy are hallmarks of an exceptional and admired chief executive.
Bruggeman’s leadership was critical during COVID. While shepherding the Association through a challenging pandemic, she maintained a full-time staff and continued business relationships with all sponsors and partners. After dipping below 3,500 members during COVID, the Association set a record high for overall membership in October 2022 and currently stands at over 6,500. She also led the charge in bringing back and executing a thriving in-person annual Convention in December 2021 in Las Vegas with over 1,500 attendees and 138 companies in the Exhibit Show.
Bruggeman is also a well-respected national speaker, clinician, educator, television analyst and author. She continues to speak and teach, and remains a fixture on the ESPN, SEC, ACC, and Big Ten television networks during the college softball season.
Bruggeman and the rest of the 2023 Hall of Fame Class will be inducted next December.