Head Coach Jan Forsty
Office Phone: 304-829-7271
Jan Forsty will be entering her 28th year leading the Bison softball program in 2015.
After two years removed from a PAC tournament birth, the Bison made it back to the conference championships in 2014. Finishing the year with a 10-8 mark in the PAC, Bethany secured a berth in the PAC Championships with a 4-0 victory over W&J in the final game of the season. Following the 2014 campaign, Coach Forsty saw five Bison named to the All-Presidents' Athletic Conference teams, including first-teamers Deanna Mihalco and Kadie Kelly. Their five All-PAC selections were the most for the program since 2011.
From 2008-11, Bethany returned to the national stage with four consecutive postseason appearances, giving the program 11 all-time bids. In the spring of 2011, the Bison won 14 consecutive conference games to claim the #1 seed for the PAC Tournament. Bethany then swept through to its PAC record 13th league title with victories over Waynesburg (1-0) and Thomas More (2-1, 1-0) to win its first championship since 2008 and clinch the program's sixth trip to NCAA Regionals. The Bison finished the campaign with a 29-16 record, had five players selected for All-PAC accolades and three of those were also named All-Region.
The 2010 campaign was a record-breaking one for Forsty, as the team set a new school-record with 35 victories and finished as the runner-up in the PAC and ECAC South Region Tournaments. During the course of the season, Forsty won her 500th career game at the helm of the Bethany program with a 6-1 game-two win over Allegheny April 1. Then in the regular season finale, Forsty became just the 15th Division III coach ever to claim 600 victories when Bethany beat Washington & Jefferson 7-1 to sweep the conference doubleheader.
The two previous seasons saw the Bison win 24 games both years and earn postseason trips as well. In 2008, Bethany swept through the PAC Tournament to capture its 12th league crown in school history. Returning to NCAA Regionals for the first time in four years, BC claimed wins over Rochester and Ramapo to finish third at the eight-team Ithaca Regional. The following spring in 2009, Bethany finished 24-21, reached the conference tournament championship game and earned an invitation to the ECAC Tournament.
Forsty elevated the Bison softball program to national prominence after leading the squad to its third consecutive and fourth overall trip to the NCAA Championships in 2004. Her top year came in 2002, as Bethany compiled a 32-10 record and earned its second-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament, its first since 1997. The Bison went on to win the Central Region and earned a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series for the first time in program history. Forsty’s squad dropped their first two games at the Series, including a 1-0 loss to eventual national champion Ithaca, but finished the year ranked sixth in the country in the NFCA poll.
During Forsty’s 27-year career at Bethany, she has built a record of 605-406-3 (.596) with the softball team, while her overall coaching record is 685-462-3 (.595). Her players at Bethany have earned All-PAC status 148 times, won PAC Pitcher of the Year Honors 13 times and won 11 PAC Most Valuable Player awards. Forsty’s players have also been named All-Region 36 times, All-ECAC on eight occasions and four have earned All-American recognition four times, including most recently Maria Vallone, who was tabbed Third Team All-American in 2012.
Prior to coming to Bethany, Forsty was Director of Athletics and softball coach at Wheeling College. She started the softball program in 1982 and led the Cardinals to an NAIA national tournament berth in 1986 and a 13th place finish nationally.
In addition to softball, Forsty also serves as Bethany’s Associate Director of Athletics and serves as the College's Senior Women's Administrator. She is the director of the department’s Sports Management Program as well.
Forsty graduated from Slippery Rock (Pa.) University in 1975 with a degree in physical education and earned her master’s from SRU in 1989. She was inducted into Slippery Rock's Athletic Hall of Fame in September of 2007.
Assistant Coach Emily Jump
Office Phone: 304-829-7153
Assistant Coach Melissa Conrad
Office Phone: 304-829-7089
Melissa Conrad is entering her first season as an assistant coach with the Bison softball program.
Conrad comes to the Bison having spent the last three seasons at McKeesport High School. Conrad took over the reigns of the Tigers after serving as a volunteer coach during the 2011 campaign.
In Conrad's three seasons at the helm of the McKeesport High School program, she posted an overall record of 40-19, and captured the school's first ever sectional championship after a 17-5 season in 2013. For her efforts that year, Conrad was also named the Daily News "Coach of the Year".
Conrad, a native of West Mifflin, Pa. graduated from Edinboro University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Coaching. While at Bethany, she will be persuing a Master of Arts in Teaching.