Now in his eighth season at the helm and the all-time winningest head coach of the program, head coach Shawn Rychcik has transformed the Boston University softball team into an America East Conference powerhouse.
Rychcik, who was named to the Women's National Team coaching pool through 2012, has been affiliated with the BU softball team for 10 seasons - first as an assistant in 2003 and 2004 and now in his current position. He owns a 230-143-1 overall record at BU and has guided his team to a 99-37 (.728) mark in America East play. The three-time America East Coach of the Year guided the Terriers to back-to-back league championships in 2009 and 2010 and two subsequent NCAA tournament appearances.
Considered by many to be one of the best men's fastpitch players to ever play for the United States, Rychcik reached the top of the sport in 1994 by earning a spot on the U.S. Men's National Softball team. During the next eight seasons, his teams earned one gold medal, three silver medals and a bronze, marking the first time the men's squad won a gold in 14 years. Rychcik was named the United States Olympic Committee's Athlete of the Year - one of the highest honors in men's fastpitch softball - in 1999 and again in 2000.
In his 23-year playing career, Rychcik was an 11-time ISC All-World selection and a six-time ASA All-American. Rychcik's teams won five ISC World championships and two ASA National championships during his career.
The 2007, 2010, 2011 America East Coach of the Year, has fostered four America East Players of the Year (Jamie Haas, 2005; Christy Leath, 2007; April Setterlund, 2010, 11), three Pitcher of the Year (Megan Currier, 2007; Cassidi Hardy, 2010; Holli Floetker, 2011) and four Rookies of the Year (Rachel Hebert, 2007; April Setterlund, 2008; Emily Roesch, 2009; Chelsea Kehr, 2011). In 2007, the Terriers swept all the major year-end awards for the first time in conference softball history.
Along the way, 35 Terriers have earned America East all-conference honors and 18 have been named to the All-Rookie Team. Thirteen student-athletes have been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association All-Region teams, four have earned Academic All-America honors by the association and in 2005 Jamie Haas was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District I Team. Most notably, however, April Setterlund became the program's first-ever Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America First Team honoree. Overall, she is the program's second All-American.
Since his arrival on campus, the Terriers' offensive prowess has surged as they have completely rewritten the record books, breaking 10 offensive team records and 11 individual single-season marks. In addition, a handful of current and former Terriers who played for Rychcik currently sit atop numerous career standings as April Setterlund (`11) owns program marks for batting average (.411), doubles (46) and slugging percentage (.567), while and Jamie Haas ('05) is the program's all-time leader in hits (250). Chiya Louie (`07) leads the program in home runs (32) and RBI (124) and lastly Shayne Lotito ('09) moved to the top of the list in runs (150), at-bats (715) and stolen bases (95), while classmate Christy Leath is the program's all-time leader in walks (119). These accomplishments have also made their way into the national rankings as the 2007 edition was fourth in the country in home runs 65 in 48 games, sixth in slugging percentage and 12th in scoring.Just one season later, the squad's stellar defense landed it in third in the nation for double plays and 26th in field percentage.
In 2009, the Terriers once again fielded one of the nation's best defenses and ranked fourth in double plays per game (0.54 pg). Individually, Lotito ranked 16th in stolen bases (0.65 pg) and hurler Cassidi Hardy was 14th in shutouts (11.0). Setterlund's stellar 2010 performances landed her fifth in the nation in batting average (.482), fifth in on-base percentage (.579), eighth in slugging percentage (.861) and ninth in runs per game (1.11).
Last year, Rychcik led a youthful squad that at times started six rookies, to a 34-18 overall record and a 14-4 mark in America East play. The Terriers earned a share of the regular season crown and advanced to the America East title game.
The 2010 edition, won its second stragit, and eighth overall, league crown and went on to eliminate UMass in the NCAA Regionals, while junior April Setterlund put together one of the best offensive efforts in program history, culminating with her selection as an All-American. With an experienced squad and Rychcik's first recruiting class now seniors, 2009 proved to be the most successful in program history.
After a 14-6 America East season, the 2009 Terriers entered the AE tourney as the second seed. BU went on to claim its first title in six years and appear in the NCAA Atlanta Regional. Down South, the Terriers picked up their first win in the NCAA in 13 years and advanced to the finals for just the second time in program history - finishing the season with a program-record 43 wins after knocking off teams from the Big Ten and SEC.
The Terriers finished the 2008 campaign with a 29-23 overall record and 15-6 America East mark, earning the second seed in the post-season tourney. April Setterlund, an outfielder, earned the conference's Rookie of the Year distinction, following an impressive inaugural campaign. It marked the second consecutive year Rychcik recruited the conference's rookie of the year.
The 2007 season was arguably one of the Terriers' greatest offensive campaigns ever as they cruised to a 34-14 overall record and 17-4 America East mark and claimed the regular-season crown. Under Rychcik's management, BU went on a home run derby early in the season and broke the team record by April 1. They began the year on a strong note, winning the prestigious Speedline tournament and beating Bowling Green and South Florida on the final day of the tourney.
In 2006, following wins over Michigan State and an appearance in the America East tournament, Lotito was BU's representative on the America East All-Conference First Team, while Brandi Shields, Tyler Benson, Christy Leath, Brooke Hudson and Cassidi Hardy were selected to the second team. In addition, Benson was named to ESPN The Magazine's Second-Team All-District list.
In Rychcik's first season as head coach at BU in 2005, the Terriers went 26-19-1 and were 14-4 in the America East - good for second place. The team advanced to the league tournament where it won one game before being eliminated. After a slow start, in which the team was just 8-15-1 midway through the season, BU ran off a streak, which saw it win 18-of-20, including 13 straight. The Terriers averaged over five runs a game during that scorching hot stretch, becoming one of the dominant teams in the conference. Among the Terriers' signature victories in 2005 were wins over Princeton and Boston College, as well a victory over league champion Albany, which dropped just two games in conference play all season.
As the Terriers' hitting coach and recruiting coordinator in 2003 and 2004, Rychcik oversaw a dominant Terrier offense. BU had one of its best years ever in his first year on the job in 2003, as the team led America East in nearly every team offensive category. The Terriers saw dramatic increases in every offensive stat from the previous season. They produced the third-highest team batting average (.270) and fourth-highest slugging percentage (.384) in program history.
During his playing days, the US went 63-15 with Rychcik in the lineup for 78 career games. Overall, he batted .352 with 16 home runs and 55 RBI. A four-time US national team captain, Rychcik has played on USA softball teams in the Pan Am Games in 1995 and 1999 and on World Championship teams in 1996 and 2000. He was an eight-time Amateur Softball Association All-American (1993-2000) and eight-time ISC All-World selection.
In 2003, he was inducted into the ASA Western New York Softball Hall of Fame. During the course of his club-team career, his teams won five ISC World Championships and a pair of ASA National Championships. He earned MVP honors at the 1999 ASA National Championship, where he set the record for RBI in a tournament with 15 in five games.
Before arriving at BU, Rychcik served as a first assistant coach at St. Bonaventure University and Millikin University.
A 1991 graduate of Gannon University with a bachelor of science degree in physical education and sports management, Rychcik resides in North Andover, Mass., with his wife and two children.