Joan Joyce, the softball coach at Florida Atlantic University and a member of the Hall of Fame, died on Saturday. She died at the age of 81, after having had a considerable impact on the game. She coached for 28 years at FAU and was appointed into the Hall of Fame 20 times. She was also the first and only female coach in the program’s 28-year history. Joyce is widely known for striking out Ted Williams, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
How did the news of Joan Joyce’s death break out?
President John Kelly of FAU broke the news of her death on March 27. “Joan’s legacy would continue to inspire generations of young women to play softball and golf,” Kelly said, calling it a “terribly tragic loss for the FAU family.” Joan, according to Kelly, brought out the best in the student-athletes, both personally and professionally. Brian White, FAU Vice President and Director of Athletics, referred to her as a “legend” with an unrivalled history. FAU Vice President even claimed Joan to be one of the pillars of the movement.
When did Joan Joyce start her career as a coach?
The softball coach, Joan Joyce was born on August 18, 1940, in New York City. With her tragic demise she leaves behind her family which comprises of her sister, brother and his wife, two nieces and their husbands, two grand-nieces and two grandnephews.
Joan began playing at the age of eight and went on to have a successful coaching career since then. She led FAU to 11 conference championships and 11 NCAA playoff tournament appearances. In addition, she is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the all-time record holder in the sport of golf. Joan was also the acting head of FAU’s women’s golf team from 1996 to 2014, winning conference Coach of the Year eight times during that time. She compiled a record of 1002-674-1 during her 18-year term as head coach. She also received All-America honors in several sports.
Joyce was a standout performer in both basketball and volleyball. She was also a four-time All-American champion in the Women’s Basketball Association.
The demise of the coach marks a huge loss in the history of Florida Atlantic University, and we pray that her soul rests in peace as well as give strength to her family and loved ones at this time of bereavement.