Jen McIntyre — Head Coach
Jen McIntyre, who has been part of coaching staffs that have made seven NCAA tournament appearances since 2001, completed her third season as head softball coach at the University of Connecticut in 2017.
The Huskies won 17 games with a young team in 2017 under McIntyre - one that included eight freshmen players. Freshman Carli Cutler was named to the All-Conference Second Team and Rookie Team under McIntyre's guidance.
UConn won seven games against RPI Top 100 teams throughout the 2017 campaign, as McIntyre led the Huskies through a challenging season against strong competition. Wins over USF, UCF, and Boston College highlighted the schedule.
In a 19-win campaign, McIntyre helped UConn improve in almost every category in 2016. Compared to her first season in Storrs, her second saw improvements in hits, runs, batting average, stolen bases, ERA, complete games, and opposing batting average.
With McIntyre in charge, senior Lexi Gifford was selected Second-Team All-Conference at the end of the regular season. Gifford passed Chris Woodman for the UConn program record in career defensive assists (518) against Houston.
The Huskies compiled 18 wins during McIntyre's first season at the helm of the program in 2015.
McIntyre served as the associate head coach at Boston University for the 2014 season. The Terriers won the Patriot League tournament and qualified for the NCAA regionals and posted a win against Louisville.
McIntyre joined the Terriers after spending the last 12 years (2002-13) on the Penn State coaching staff, including the last three as associate head coach. During her tenure, PSU reached six NCAA tournaments, highlighted by a regional final appearance in 2011.
Twenty-one of McIntyre's recruits at Penn State were named to All-Big Ten teams 33 times, while seven were placed on the All-Region squads with three becoming NFCA All-Americans. In 2013, senior outfielder Cassidy Bell became PSU's first-ever First Team All-American after batting a program-record .456 at the plate and smashing 20 home runs.
McIntyre spent the 2000 and 2001 season at Indiana as the second assistant coach. During her time in Bloomington, three players were named to the All-Big Ten team.
A 1998 graduate of Penn State with a degree in kinesiology, McIntyre was the starting third baseman for the Nittany Lions from 1995-98. In 1997, she had a career year posting a .304 batting average over 53 games while leading the team in runs scored (29) and assists (138).
A 1997 CoSIDA Verizon Academic All-America selection, she ranks sixth all-time with 42 career stolen bases. Also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, she was named team MVP as a junior and team captain as a senior.
In May 2001, McIntyre earned her master's degree in kinesiology/sports management and athletic administration at Indiana.
Chrissy Schoonmaker Assistant Coach
Chrissy Schoonmaker, a 2007 graduate of South Carolina, completed her third season as an assistant softball coach at the University of Connecticut in 2017.
Schoonmaker comes to Storrs after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Houston during the 2014 campaign. She worked primarily with the infielders and assisted in other areas.
Schoonmaker spent the 2012 season at Texas Tech coaching the infielders while also serving as first base coach, base running instructor and coordinating the program's camps. Prior to coaching with the Red Raiders, Schoonmaker spent two years at her alma mater, South Carolina, as the volunteer assistant.
"I am very excited to welcome Chrissy to the UConn softball family. Chrissy exudes energy and passion in everything she does," said McIntyre. "She is a tireless recruiter and shares the same vision for our program and the University of Connecticut. In addition to assisting with all aspects of the daily operations of our program, she will specifically work with our infield defense. Her previous knowledge of the conference will be a significant asset to our goals as we look to make our mark in the American Athletic Conference."
A native of Sebastian, Fla., Schoonmaker began her coaching career in 2009 as an assistant softball coach at Dreher High School in South Carolina after wrapping up her eligibility as a student-athlete.
LAURA MESSINA Assistant Coach
Laura Messina joined the UConn softball coaching staff in September 2018. Messina, who comes to Storrs from Fordham, will work with UConn’s pitchers and catchers.
Messina joined the Fordham coaching staff in September 2017. She helped coach the Rams to the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Messina worked primarily with the pitchers at Fordham.
Prior to her stint with Fordham, Messina served as a graduate assistant/pitching coach at Rutgers-Newark for two seasons.
Messina graduated from Central Connecticut State in 2015 with a degree in criminology. She helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2013 and 2015 NEC Tournament championships in 2013 and was named tournament MVP in 2013. CCSU made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2013 and 2015. Messina served as a team captain in 2014.
Messina was named All-Northeast Conference all four seasons and was selected as the league’s Pitcher of the Year in 2014. She set program records in wins (100), strikeouts, innings pitched and complete games. The Marlton, N.J., native led the nation in 2015 with 15 shutouts. In 2015, Messina was named to USA Softball’s Top 50 “Watch List” for the Collegiate Player of the Year award.
Messina earned a master’s degree in liberal studies from Rutgers University – Newark in 2017.