Hall-of-Famer Eugene Lenti Joins Auburn Coaching Staff


Eugene Lenti has been named an assistant coach for the Auburn softball program, head coach Mickey Dean announced Friday. Lenti was DePaul University’s all-time winningest head coach spending 37 years at the school from 1980-87 and 1990-2018.

“I’m looking very forward to having him on staff,” Dean said. “Eugene and I had an opportunity to coach together with the Chicago Bandits. I like his hitting philosophy and I like what he teaches. I’m real excited for our kids to be able to experience that.  Just to be able to bring in his experience as a coach. He’s a Hall of Fame coach and it’ll be nice to have him on the staff.”

During his time at the helm of the Blue Demons, Lenti won 1,327 games, while being named part of the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year six times, C-USA Coach of the Year once, Mid-Continent Conference (The Summit League) Coach of the Year three times and North Star Conference Coach of the Year once. He was also named C-USA Women’s Coach of the Decade in 2005 and C-USA Softball Coach of the Decade.

Additionally, Lenti was named the NFCA National Coach of the Year in 1999 after leading DePaul to a school-record 54 wins, reaching the Women’s College World Series semifinals and finishing third in the NFCA/USA Today final top 25 poll. The following season, Lenti and his staff led the Blue Demons back to the WCWS after not allowing a run in regional contests against Michigan, Notre Dame and Central Michigan.

Lenti was inducted into the NFCA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2008.

“His resume speaks for itself,” Dean said. “He’s one of the winningest head coaches in all of Division I softball. He started and built a program that went to four World Series. I look forward to him joining us here.”

Lenti led DePaul to 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the WCWS in 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2007. He’s coached 14 All-Americans, nine conference Player of the Year and 10 conference Pitcher of the Year accolades.

“Auburn has a great athletic history and you know when you’re at Auburn you’re going to get the support you need from the president on down to excel,” Lenti said. “Coaching with Mickey again was really intriguing to me and was a big plus, so were the facilities and the warm weather I’m not used to having.

“I like to preach something that may sound simple, but you have to get a good pitch to hit and have a good thought process all the way around. To me, hitting is emotional, mental and physical, but you have to master the mental before you can master the physical because they all bleed into each other.”

Prior to arriving at DePaul, Lenti was an English teacher and Chairman of the English Department at St. Francis DeSales High School.

Lenti and his wife, Kandace, have three daughters, Ali, Gena and Cate. Ali and Gena played softball at DePaul while all three graduated from the university.

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