Jen Lane enters her 17th season as the head coach of the softball team at Wesleyan in 2018. She also previously served as an assistant coach for the Cardinals’ field hockey program, and is currently an adjunct professor of physical education at the institution.
Lane, a two-time NESCAC Coach of the Year (2008, 2010), established a winning culture in 2007, as the group posted its first above-.500 season since 1995 with a 21-15 record and a 9-3 mark in the highly-competitive NESCAC West Division en route to qualifying for the conference playoffs for the first time in program history.
The 2008 version of the Cardinals built off the positive momentum, under Lane’s superb leadership, as the team compiled 21 wins for the second straight year, and finished 10-2 in the NESCAC. The group captured the school’s first-ever NESCAC West title, while finishing as the runner-up during the NESCAC Championship in Middletown, Conn.
Lane has led the Cardinals to a pair of Little Three titles in 2008 and 2013, as her unit claimed the NESCAC West title again in 2009, and then earned the program’s first-ever NESCAC Championship in 2010 en route to qualifying for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in school history. The 2010 team finished with 24 victories, which is tied for the most in program history. From 2007-10, Wesleyan recorded a total of 83 victories, and compiled a 36-12 record in the NESCAC.
Lane led Wesleyan to a 24-12 season in 2013, as the squad reached its fifth NESCAC Tournament with a 7-5 conference mark, and then the Cardinals posted another winning season in 2016 with a 21-14 overall record.
During the summer, Lane travels throughout New England, and other parts of the country, assessing high school talent. She is the director of the Cardinal Softball School at Wesleyan and co-director of the Northeast Collegiate Softball Academy at Babson College. She also works at various other softball camps around the country.
Since 2005, she has been involved with training for Middletown Little League Softball. She has run clinics for both players and coaches, while getting Wesleyan student-athletes involved in the youth program, serving as volunteer coaches during practices. Lane attends the annual convention for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, and has achieved the level of Two-Star Master Coach through the NFCA.
Lane has twice been a member of the NCAA Division III New England Region Softball Committee. She served on that committee from 2006-08 and again from 2012-14.
At Wesleyan, Lane is co-director of the Athletics Advantage program, which connects current Cardinal student-athletes with Wesleyan alumni to set up mentorships. The program also sponsors different career workshops and panels throughout the school year.
Lane also organizes Wesleyan's annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day Clinic, which is a free multi-sport clinic for area elementary-aged girls.
Before coming to Wesleyan in the summer of 2001, Lane coached at her alma mater, NESCAC and Little Three-rival Amherst College, while earning her master's degree in exercise and sports studies at Smith College. In 1999, she was an assistant with the Amherst softball team before moving into a co-head coach position in 2000 and 2001. She was an assistant with the field hockey program at Amherst for two years as well, including the 1999 season when the Purple and White finished as the NCAA Division III runner-up.
During her undergraduate years at Amherst, Lane captained both the softball (1997, 1998) and field hockey (1997) teams. As a pitcher, she helped lead the Purple and White to a No. 16 finish in the country her senior year, and was named to the New England Regional All-Tournament Team. A sweeper in field hockey, Lane played in the Division III North-South All-Star Game in 1997.
Originally from Hatfield, Mass., Lane was a four-year, three-sport (field hockey, basketball and softball) varsity standout at Smith Academy. She is married to Jimmy Lane, Jr. They have four children: Julia, Andrew, and twins, William and Olivia.