HCC Athletic Director Scores Sixth Hall of Fame Honor in Softball
Howard Community College Athletic Director Diane Schumacher will be inducted into her sixth Hall of Fame—the Massachusetts Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Hall of Fame—later this month on November 29. Honored for her accomplishments on the pitcher’s mound and at the plate, Schumacher has become one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of fast pitch softball.
A multiple USA team medal winner as a player and coach on national softball teams, Schumacher is a lifetime .329 hitter, known for her talents both on the pitching mound and at first base. She was a seven-time All-American on eight national championship teams, a medalist in both the 1978 and 1983 Pan American games, and a gold medalist in the 1978 World Championship Games in San Salvador. She won the 1978 ASA Sportswoman of the Year award, after being named most valuable player at the national tournament with the Raybestos Brakettes.
Schumacher won several gold medals on Olympic Sport Festival teams, and represented the sport for both men and women on the athletes’ advisory board to the Olympics through the boycott of 1980. In addition, she served as co-head coach for the 1994–1995 Olympic Festival teams, and had the distinction of throwing out the first softball pitch at the 1996 Olympic Games.
“It is an honor to be remembered years later for the privilege of playing and representing my country on an international stage,” said Schumacher. “Returning to my home state of Massachusetts, where my love of the sport began 40 years ago, is so humbling and special. I look forward to being reunited with those who played an important part in my development as a player and as a person.”
In addition to her roles as player and coach, Schumacher served as assistant coach for the 1995 Junior World Championships and the 2002 Japan Cup. She has been a lead clinician for the ASA national softball schools. Internationally, she coached the national Holland team from 1986–1990 to securing two European Cup championships.
Now retired from the sport, Schumacher is a member in the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) National Hall of Fame, the International Softball Federation (ISF) Hall of Fame as the first American player male or female, the state of Connecticut ASA Hall of Fame, and the Springfield College Hall of Fame and Cathedral High School Hall of Fame. A graduate of Springfield College, she holds a master of education from Temple University.
A longtime advocate for developing playing opportunities for men and women in sports, Schumacher came to Howard Community College in 1999 after serving as the women’s athletic director at Augustana College in Illinois (1985– 1999), and previously as the head coach of basketball and softball at Augustana and Princeton University. Under her leadership, Howard Community College has enhanced its sports programs, resulting in nationally ranked athletics teams; regional, district and conference championships; and student athletes named to the All-Academic, All-American or All-Region teams.