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Coaching Staff


Melinda Fischer Head Coach

Only 18 head coaches in NCAA Division I softball can claim to have won 1,000 games in their coaching career. Illinois State head coach Melinda Fischer, who will begin her 32nd season at the helm of the Redbird softball program this spring, can claim such an honor. And many more.

The all-time winningest coach in Illinois State Athletics history. Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Head Softball Coach. A combined nine Missouri Valley Conference and Gateway Athletic Conference regular-season championships. A 2010 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee. All of that and more define Illinois State head softball coach Melinda Fischer.

Fischer's 1,000 career victories, spread out among 32 previous seasons as a collegiate head coach (at both Eastern Illinois [1979-80] and Illinois State [1986-present]), rank her as the 18th-winningest coach in NCAA Division I softball history and the 11th-winningest active head coach. She's continued her historical rise through the career coaching ranks with her 1,000th-career win in an 8-2 victory over Northern Iowa in the MVC Tournament on May 8, 2015.

Tina Kramos Associate Head Coach

Entering her 19th year at Illinois State, associate head coach Tina Kramos has taken the knowledge and skills she earned while playing shortstop for Missouri State from 1990-95 and transferred that into an ability to coach the Redbird hitters and outfielders into some of the finest in The Valley. Kramos leads the recruiting efforts at Illinois State and is also the primary hitting instructor.

As an assistant coach at ISU, Kramos has coached three All-Americans (Amber Smith - 2006; Kara Nelson - 2007, 2010; Abby Olson - 2010), and played a role in then-freshman Kara Nelson earning the 2007 Valley Player of the Year Award, the first time in conference history that a freshman has had that award bestowed upon her. Nelson went on to claim a second MVC Player of the Year honor in 2011 under Kramos' guidance, while catcher Elizabeth Kay won the award in 2013.

TARA ARCHIBALD Assistant Coach

With 14 years of coaching experience at various levels, Tara Glasco Archibald, a former NCAA Scholar Athlete award winner at Southern Illinois and pitching coach at Georgia, begins her first season at Illinois State in 2017-18.

Archibald comes from Field House Sports in Millican, Texas where she worked as the Sports Administrator and Lead Softball Instructor. Archibald’s 14 years of experience began at the junior high school level working up to the collegiate level, in addition to private coaching and travel league experience.

With 15 years of coaching experience at various levels, Tara Glasco Archibald, a former NCAA Scholar Athlete award winner at Southern Illinois and pitching coach at Georgia, enters her second season at Illinois State in 2018-19.

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