Judy Sherman, longtime Pacific softball coach and director of athletics to receive prestigious Oregon Sports Award on Sunday
A fixture in the Pacific University athletic department for parts of six decades, former Pacific Head Softball Coach and Director of Athletics Judy Sherman is being recognized for a lifetime of service to the school and the sport she loves.
Sherman has been selected as the recipient of the DNA Award at the 2012 Oregon Sports Awards. The annual awards show honoring the top athletes in Oregon takes place this Sunday evening at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Headquarters campus in Beaverton.
Formerly known as the 'Merit Award,' the DNA Award is presented to individuals or organizations for their extraordinary passion and dedication to sports in Oregon. The recipients of this award are part of Oregon's 'sports DNA.' Recent past recipients of the DNA Award include Mouse Davis, Chris Dudley, Brian Henninger, Bill Schonely, Penny Knight, Johnny Pesky, Jack and Mary Cain and the Oregon Track Club.
'I am thrilled to be receiving an award that has honored such a list of greats in sports in Oregon,' Sherman said. 'It is quite humbling. I am certainly grateful to be recognized for my life work and passion in sport.'
Sherman's involvement with Pacific goes back to 1967, when she was hired by the University to coach fledgling programs in volleyball, softball, basketball, field hockey and track and field. She mentored the field hockey program until its dissolution in the 1970s, basketball until 1978 and the volleyball program until 1984. She coached the 1969 women's basketball and the 1981 and 1982 volleyball teams to Women's Conference of Independent Colleges (WCIC) championships.
It is in her 28 years as softball coach, though, where Sherman's teams shined. She amassed 418 wins and a .741 winning percentage, which ranks among the highest for any collegiate softball coach at all levels of the game. She coached the Boxers to seven national tournament appearances, including a third place finish at the 1985 NAIA National Softball Championship and a fifth place finish at the 1980 AIAW Softball World Series. Pacific won six straight conference titles under her watch from 1980 to 1985.
In her 28 seasons, Sherman coached 11 all-Americans, six NAIA District II Players of the Year and over 70 all-conference selections. She was named NAIA District II Coach of the Year in 1982, 1991 and 1992, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) West Region Coach of the Year in 1992 and Co-Northwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 with then co-head coach Cindy Schuppert.
Sherman parlayed her success as a coach and her administrative skills into leadership positions in softball at the national level. She served on USA Softball's International Selection Committee from 1997 to 2008, helping to choose four United States Olympic softball teams (all gold medal winners). She served six years on the NFCA Board of Directors and two terms as chair of the NAIA Softball Coaches Association.
In addition to her coaching duties, Sherman spent much of her career leading Pacific University Athletics. She held positions as women's athletic director and associate athletic director before eventually serving as Pacific's director of athletics from 1993 to 2004, an era when 96 percent of intercollegiate ADs were men.
During her tenure, Sherman oversaw the University's transition to NCAA Division III, saw the addition of varsity programs in men's and women's track and field, women's wrestling and men's and women's swimming, formed the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame, realized a $3 million remodeling and expansion of the Stoller Center, Pacific's main athletics facility, and secured a significant increase to the athletic department budget.
The award list for Sherman is extensive. She was selected to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1988, the first softball coach to be so recognized, and was named to the NAIA District II Hall of Fame the same year. She became one of the first inductees to the NFCA Hall of Fame in 1992 and was inducted into the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, when the softball program retired jersey No. 1 in honor of her longtime service.
Like with her other honors, Sherman is quick to give credit for her success to her colleagues, assistant coaches and the hundreds of student-athletes who have played on her teams over the years. 'Success is a team effort, and it is my assistant coaches and athletes that have made my career such a joy.
'I have to thank Jean Horner, who took a chance on a young coach and hired me to work at Pacific. And I have to thank Pacific as well for having the faith to hire me as director of athletics when few women were being installed in those positions,' Sherman added.
Even though she retired from full-time work in 2004, Sherman continues to be a part of Pacific Athletics as a part-time supervisor for the event management staff for home athletics events.