ERIC OAKLEY | HEAD COACH
Eric Oakley was named Head Coach in June 2016, after serving one season as an assistant on Kent State’s staff and one season as interim Head Coach.
Oakley returned to the Mid-American Conference, as he was a member of Eastern Michigan’s coaching staff for five seasons (2007-11) prior to his stint at North Dakota. He was interim head coach for the 2010 season and led the Eagles to a 19-30-1 record.
During his second season as interim Head Coach, he guided the Flashes to back-to-back MAC regular season titles for the second time in past decade and recording 78 total wins making it the winningest two year span in program history. The Flashes also posted a 37-22 record making it the fourth most in program history. Since his arrival at Kent State, the Flashes have had five NFCA All-Mideast Region selections and seven All-MAC Honorees. Off the field work by his student-athletes have also been remarkable, posting a 3.513 team GPA ranking 10th in the nation in 2014-15 and having a total of 23 Academic All-MAC Honorees.
In his first season as an assistant he instructed one of the most dominant pitching staffs in college softball and led them to a MAC regular season championship with the entire staff compiling an ERA of 1.55, which was third in the nation. The staff also threw 46.2 innings of scoreless softball. Under his tutelage Emma Johnson earned NFCA All-Mideast Region and 2nd Team honors and was named MAC Pitcher of the Year. Johnson recorded two no hitters, a personal best 40-inning scoreless streak and threw shutouts vs #3 Michigan and #15 Central Florida, and also tied the Kent State record with 18 strikeouts in a game. She also ranked in the top ten in the country in K/7IP, ERA, hits allowed/7IP, Ks, and strikeouts.
After taking over a North Dakota program in its last year of transitioning to NCAA Division I, Oakley compiled a 34-98 record over the past three years. He had a total of 16 student-athletes earn all-conference honors, including 9 in the program’s first two years as a member of the Big Sky Conference.
Oakley served several roles during his tenure at Eastern Michigan, including assistant hitting coach, pitching and catching coach and recruiting coordinator. In his first season on staff, he helped guide the Eagles to a historic season in which they captured their first NCAA Regional appearance, MAC Tournament title and MAC West Division title in program history. During his final season in Ypsilanti, EMU posted its second-highest winning percentage all-time (.591), largely due to the Oakley’s work with the teams pitchers. Eastern Michigan’s team ERA dipped to 3.04 from 4.57 the previous season, and Eagles pitchers garnered MAC West Pitcher of the Week honors on five occasions.
A 2001 graduate of Eastern Michigan, Oakley began his coaching career at the high school level prior to returning to his alma mater. He also headed the Motor City Madness Elite Travel Softball program from 1999-2004. His 18U squad placed third at the 2001 Triple Crown World Series and was the only qualifier located east of the Mississippi River. More than 25 of his players went on to play collegiate softball.