Joan Joyce

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Joan Joyce
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamFlorida Atlantic
Record945–568–1 (.625)
Biographical details
Born (1940-08-18) August 18, 1940 (age 81)
Waterbury, Connecticut
Playing career
1954-1963Raybestos Brakettes
1964-1966Orange Lionettes
1967-1975Raybestos Brakettes
1964-1965USA Women's National Team
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
College Softball
1973-1974LIU Brooklyn
1974-1975Mattatuck Community College
1995-PresentFlorida Atlantic
College Golf
1996-2014Florida Atlantic
Head coaching record
Overall945–568–1 (.625)

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.[1] 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.[2]


As a player[edit]

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 sport's 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.[2]

In exhibition games, she struck out Ted Williams at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1961 (also during a brief stint in 1966) and Hank Aaron in 1978.[1]

As a coach and organizer[edit]

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.[3] As of 2011, Joyce's Owls team has nine conference championships and 714 victories.[2] 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.[4] Her best finishes included sixth-place in tournaments in 1981, 1982 and 1984, including a round of 66.[4] 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.[citation needed]


Joyce served as player and coach in the United States Volleyball Association with the Connecticut Clippers.[citation needed] She competed in four national tournaments, and was named to the All-East Regional team.[citation needed]


Joyce played on the USA women's national basketball team in 1964 and 1965[citation needed], setting a national tournament single game scoring record in 1964 with 67 points[citation needed]. She was a four-time Women's Basketball Association All-American[citation needed], and a three-time Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-America player[citation needed].

Halls of Fame[edit]

Joyce was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in 1983.[5] She was inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame in 1999.[6]

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.

Head coaching record[edit]

College softball[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Florida Atlantic Owls (Atlantic Sun Conference) (1995–2006)
1995 Florida Atlantic 33–18 9–5 2nd (East)
1996 Florida Atlantic 37–32 11–5 3rd (East)
1997 Florida Atlantic 42–29 14–2 1st (East)
1998 Florida Atlantic 47–20 14–6 1st (East)
1999 Florida Atlantic 49–20 10–2 1st (East) NCAA Regional
2000 Florida Atlantic 57–17 13–1 1st NCAA Regional
2001 Florida Atlantic 46–21 9–5 T–1st NCAA Regional
2002 Florida Atlantic 62–13 16–2 1st NCAA Regional
2003 Florida Atlantic 44–28 18–4 1st NCAA Regional
2004 Florida Atlantic 56–18 17–3 1st NCAA Regional
2005 Florida Atlantic 37–32 14–6 2nd
2006 Florida Atlantic 35–25 15–5 T–2nd NCAA Regional
Florida Atlantic Owls (Sun Belt Conference) (2007–2013)
2007 Florida Atlantic 42–23 16–8 1st
2008 Florida Atlantic 35–26 17–7 2nd
2009 Florida Atlantic 30–30 10–13 7th
2010 Florida Atlantic 28–26 12–10 4th
2011 Florida Atlantic 34–25 15–9 2nd
2012 Florida Atlantic 15–39 5–18 T–8th
2013 Florida Atlantic 28–29 10–12 5th
Florida Atlantic Owls (Conference USA) (2014–Present)
2014 Florida Atlantic 33–22 15–9 T–3rd
2015 Florida Atlantic 39–19–1 16–7 2nd (East) NCAA Regional
2016 Florida Atlantic 51–9 22–2 1st (East) NCAA Regional
2017 Florida Atlantic 35–21 15–9 3rd (East)
2018 Florida Atlantic 30–26 15–8 1st (East)
2019 Florida Atlantic 18–26 5–13 5th (East)
2020 Florida Atlantic 8–14 1–2 3rd (East) Season canceled due to Covid-19 pandemic
2021 Florida Atlantic 12–35 6–14 6th (East)
Florida Atlantic: 983–643–1 (.604) 340–187 (.645)
Total: 983–643–1 (.604)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b " - Biography - Joan Joyce". Archived from the original on 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
  2. ^ a b c Joan Joyce: the best Ted Williams ever faced
  3. ^ "Joan Joyce". Florida Atlantic University. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  4. ^ a b LPGA profile - Joan Joyce
  5. ^ "National Softball Hall of Fame Member: Joan Joyce". Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  6. ^ "International Softball Federation - The ISF: Inductess/Bios". Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-08-09.

External links[edit]