Fran Troyan begins his 18th season as head coach of the Lehigh softball team. As head coach, Troyan has an overall record of 578-312-5, a Patriot League record of 255-51, and he has led Lehigh to 14 Patriot League regular season titles, nine tournament crowns, and eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Under Troyan’s guidance, Lehigh captured eleven consecutive regular season Patriot League crowns from 1999-2009 and has won seven of the last nine tournament titles.
Last season Troyan guided Lehigh to its first regular season title in two years and its second straight tournament title and seventh crown in the last nine years. With Patriot League Player of the Year Jen Colquhoun and Patriot League career hits leader Julie Fernandez leading the offense, and Becca Bliss and Emily Bausher anchoring the pitching staff, the Mountain Hawks finished with a 40-19 overall record and an 18-2 mark against league foes. Lehigh won the Patriot League tournament with three shutout victories, becoming the first Patriot League champion to not allow a run in tournament play. The Mountain Hawks advanced to the NCAA Regionals in Norman, Oklahoma, where they suffered losses to eventual national runner-up Oklahoma and Oregon State. Troyan was recognized as Patriot League Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
The Mountain Hawks also enjoyed a successful season off the field as Colquhoun captured her third straight Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and eventually became the first Lehigh softball player to earn first team Academic All-America honors. Fernandez was one of ten finalists for the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
The 2011 season saw Troyan lead the Mountain Hawks back to the NCAA tournament after a one year hiatus. Lehigh rolled through the Patriot League tournament, highlighted by a 14-0 win over host Colgate in the title game. The Mountain Hawks finished with a 33-23 mark and played against WCWS participant Baylor in the College Park, Md. Regional.
In 2010, Troyan guided Lehigh to its tenth straight season with 30 or more victories, while picking up his milestone 500th career victory against Bucknell in April.
The 2009 Mountain Hawks captured their second straight Patriot League tournament crown and advanced to an NCAA Regional Final for the second time in school history. At the NCAA Regional in Gainesville, Fla., Lehigh posted victories over Florida A&M and Texas A&M before bowing to the eventual national runners-up from Florida.
Five years ago, Troyan picked up his 400th career victory and coached three All-League performers including Lisa Sweeney, who was the Patriot League’s Player and Pitcher of the Year, and an Academic All-American. The Mountain Hawks won their fourth Patriot League title in five years and returned to the NCAA Regionals in Amherst, Massachusetts where they defeated regional foe Princeton.
In 2006, Troyan guided the Mountain Hawks to a 43-14 record including a 19-1 mark in Patriot League play. The 43 victories established new school and league records for wins in a single season. Troyan’s 2006 team also made noise on the national level, twice knocking off No. 13 Texas A&M en route to becoming the first Patriot League team to win its first round NCAA regional game, the first to win two games in a regional and the first to advance to the regional finals. For their efforts, the Lehigh coaching staff was named the 2006 Mid-Atlantic regional Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
A 1986 graduate of Allegheny College, Troyan earned his bachelor’s in International Studies and later received his law degree from The Dickinson School of Law in 1989. Troyan was an Academic All-America shortstop at Allegheny in 1985, a First-Team All-North Coast Atlantic Conference shortstop in 1985 and 1986, and competed internationally with Athletes in Action.
Troyan came to Lehigh initially as an assistant coach to his wife, Sue, in 1990 and became head coach in 1995. In his 22 seasons on South Mountain, Lehigh has won 17 regular season Patriot League Championships and 12 Patriot League Tournament Championships. As head coach, he has produced 32 Regional All-Americans, including seven in the last four years. He has coached three Academic All-Americans (Jenny Bender ’03, Lisa Sweeney ’09 and Jen Colquhoun ‘12) and 110 All-Patriot League selections. Troyan is a four-time Patriot League Coach of the Year, winning the award in 1997, 2005 and 2012 and sharing it in 2007. In addition, Troyan periodically provides legal advice to the Lehigh Athletic Department.
Francis Troyan Softball DVDs
Fran and Sue reside in Bethlehem, with their daughter Katie ‘16, a member of the Lehigh volleyball team, and sons David and Matthew.