Joan Joyce (born August 18, 1940) is the softball coach at Florida Atlantic University, following a record-setting career as a softball player for the Raybestos Brakettes and the Orange Lionettes. She also had set records on the LPGA Tour as a golfer and on the USA women's national basketball team, and was a player and coach for the Connecticut Clippers volleyball team.
As a player
Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Joyce played for the Brakettes from 1954–1963, the Lionettes from 1964-1966, and again the Brakettes from 1967–1975, In her career, she racked up many of the sports' records, which have yet to be broken:
- Most consecutive all-star team selections (18)
- Eight-time MVP in the National Tournament (1961, 1963, 1968, 1971 (co-MVP), 1973, 1974, and 1975)
- Most victories in a season (42) (in 1974)
- Two no-hit, no-run games in National Tournament (four times)
- Shutouts in a season (38 in 1974)
- Most innings pitched in a game (29 in 1968 against Perkasie)
- Career doubles (153)
- Doubles in a season (22 in 1968)
- Career triples (67)
- Brakettes team batting champion (1960, 1962, 1967–69, 1973)
- Highest batting average (.467 in 1971)
Her pitches were extremely fast at over 70 miles per hour. She pitched 150 no-hitters and 50 perfect games, with a lifetime earned run average of 0.09. In her record-setting 42-win season, she pitched 38 shutouts. Her 1974 Brakettes team was the first American team to win the world championship.
As a coach and organizer
Joyce was co-founder (with Billie Jean King, Jim Jorgensen and Dennis Murphy) of the Women's Professional Softball League in 1976 and the coach and part owner of the Connecticut Falcons team, which won the Championship all four years of the league's history.
She is now a coach at Florida Atlantic University, having coached softball since 1994 and women's golf since 1996. In softball, she has never had a losing season in 18 years as a coach. As of 2011, Joyce's Owls team has nine conference championships and 714 victories. In her first two seasons (1995 and 1996), the Owls were Atlantic Sun Conference runners-up, then won the next eight championships. They took second in 2005, then won again in 2006. Joyce was named Coach of the Year in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2002.
After softball, she joined the LPGA Tour, which she was on from 1977–1994. Her best finishes included sixth-place in tournaments in 1981, 1982 and 1984, including a round of 66. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for lowest number of putts (17) in a single round (both men and women), set at the 1982 Lady Michelob.
Joyce played on the USA women's national basketball team in 1964 and 1965, setting a national tournament single game scoring record in 1964 with 67 points. She was a four-time Women's Basketball Association All-American, and a three-time Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-America player.
Halls of Fame
Joyce is in nine halls of fame. In addition to the National Softball Hall of Game and International Softball Federation Hall of Fame, she has been inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Hank O'Donnell Hall of Fame, the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame, the Greater Waterbury Hall of Fame, and, as one of only three Americans, the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
- HickokSports.com - Biography - Joan Joyce
- Joan Joyce: the best Ted Williams ever faced
- "Joan Joyce". FAUSports.com. Florida Atlantic University. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- LPGA profile - Joan Joyce
- "National Softball Hall of Fame Member: Joan Joyce". Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "International Softball Federation - The ISF: Inductess/Bios". Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-08-09.