Jill Gagnon is in her sixth season as the head softball coach at Saint Anselm in 2018-19 after being named the program's eighth head coach in May 2014. She is in her seventh season overall on the Hilltop after serving as an assistant in 2013.
Through five seasons as head coach, Gagnon has compiled an overall record of 129-80-1 (.617), including a 73-47-1 (.607) mark in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Hawks have made four appearance in the NE10 Softball Championship and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament in her five seasons, including a historic national runner-up finish in 2018.
In 2018, Gagnon led a team with just five combined juniors and seniors all the way to the national championship series of the 2018 NCAA Division II Softball Championship in Salem, Va. before the Hawks fell to Southern Indiana. The national runner-up finish marked the first time any of the College's teams had ever played for a national title, as the Hawks won their first-ever East Region title with a perfect 5-0 record to punch their ticket to Salem.
In Salem, Saint Anselm posted three victories against nationally-ranked teams, including two against eighth-ranked Southern Arkansas, with the team's first two victories coming in walk-off fashion. Three Hawks (Morgan Perry, Amanda Bickford, Erin Thompson) were named to the All-Championship Team following the conclusion of the tournament.
Gagnon earned her first NE10 Coach of the Year honor in 2018 and, along with her staff, was named the NFCA Division II East Region Coaching Staff of the Year after leading the Hawks to a 23-3-1 mark in the NE10 that included a 19-2 mark in the Northeast Division and a divisional title. Saint Anselm won a school-record 13-straight games before falling to Pace in the NE10 Softball Championship semifinals before putting together the historic run to the national championship series. On Apr. 22, Saint Anselm earned its first-ever national ranking, coming in at No. 24 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Coaches Poll.
Through five seasons as head coach, Gagnon has coached 24 All-NE10 selections, including a program-record eight in 2018. Under her guidance, five student-athletes have earned nine all-region honors during Gagnon's time on the Hilltop and the program has also produced two NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes and one CoSIDA Academic All-District pick.
Gagnon became the third coach in program history to reach 100 career victories on April 2, 2018, when the Hawks defeated her alma mater, Merrrimack, 5-4 at home.
In 2015, Gagnon led Saint Anselm to its second-ever NCAA Division II Championship tournament berth, the program's first since 2002, with a 23-14 overall record and a 12-9 mark in the NE10. The Hawks earned an at-large bid into the tournament as the No. 7 seed in the East Regional and eliminated third-seeded Queens College (N.Y.) before falling twice to second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University. Saint Anselm also advanced to the second round of the NE10 Championship after finishing third in the Northeast Division during the regular season.
In her first season of 2014, Gagnon guided the Hawks to a 27-14 record overall, including a 15-6 mark in the Northeast Division of the NE10, which earned Saint Anselm a share of the regular-season title. She then steered the team to the semifinals of the NE10 Championship before falling to eventual runner-up and NCAA Tournament team the University of New Haven.
As assistant coach of the Hawks in 2013, Gagnon helped Saint Anselm to a 22-21 overall record, earning the program's first trip to the Northeast-10 postseason since 2008.
Prior to arriving on the Hilltop, Gagnon served as a pitching coach for UMass Boston from 2010-12 and was part of a coaching staff that led the Beacons to their first LEC Conference Tournament appearance in program history.
Gagnon played collegiate softball at Merrimack College, where she was a First Team All-NE10 selection and made the NE10 All-Championship Team in 2009. She was also named to the NFCA All-American East Region First Team that same season.
Gagnon played four years of both softball and basketball at Manchester Memorial High School and was an all-state pick on the diamond in both 2004 and 2005.
She currently resides in Somerville, Mass.
|Year||Overall Record||NE10 Record/Division Finish
|2014||27-14||18-9/T-1st||NE10 Championship (1-1)|
|2015||23-13||12-9/T-3rd||NCAA Division II East Regional (1-2)
NE10 Championship (1-1)
|2017||23-14||12-9/T-3rd||NCAA Division II East Regional (1-2)
NE10 Championship (1-1)
|2018||44-13-1||23-3-1/1st||NE10 Championship Semifinal (0-1)
NCAA Division II National Runner-up (3-3)
|Total (5 seasons)||129-80-1 (.617)
|| 4 NE10 Championship Appearances (2-4)
2 NCAA Tournament Appearances (4-5)