Head Coach Melissa Frost is the winningest coach in UIndy softball history. Since inheriting the program in 2004, she has been named GLVC Coach of the Year five times, with a UIndy career 71.1 win percentage. During her first year coaching the Hounds, the team was rebounding from having only won nine games the previous year. Within just four years, Frost’s team was competing in the Division II College World Series. Coach Frost earned her 600th win on Feb. 8 in her 16th season at the University of Indianapolis.
According to Frost, her program is one with highest expectations for the women, on and off the field, all while embracing a fun-loving culture.
“One of the things we preach in our program is attention to detail, because if we do the small things correctly then the big things on the field will take care of themselves,” Frost said.
According to VP for Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey, during Frost’s tenure here as head coach, she has received offers to coach Division I teams but has chosen to remain at UIndy, testifying to her loyalty to the university. Frost said that the family atmosphere and supportive culture keep her here.
“I can honestly say that I enjoy my job here so much, there aren’t a lot of days that I go to work that it really feels like work,” Frost said.
She said she loves how UIndy provides the best of both worlds for the student-athletes, academically and athletically, allowing them to live a balanced lifestyle.
Though Frost’s teams have accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments on the field, she said she is very proud of their success in the classroom, reaching their highest GPA of her 16 years at UIndy. Just this past fall, they had a team GPA of 3.67, according to UIndy Athletics. Even more than the accomplishments, Frost said she is most grateful for the relationships that she has developed over the years. She said she enjoys the opportunity to help her young ladies develop on and off the field and maintain relationships with them long after they have graduated.
“It’s hard to say goodbye to seniors every year but it’s very rewarding to watch them progress in real life after having watched them on the diamond for several years,” Frost said.
According to Willey, Frost’s success comes from placing emphasis on the student-athletes’ experience. She recruits dedicated individuals, those who come in with a winning mentality and will be good representatives of the program. According to senior pitcher Lauren Honkomp, Frost is very big on accountability.
“She makes sure to tell you if you didn’t do something right and helps you fix it right away instead of letting it continue,” Honkomp said.
Frost’s teams have found themselves to be national contenders numerous times, racking up three 50-win seasons, the most recent being in 2016. That year, the Hounds set a new program record with a .911 win percentage, a record of 51-5 and a GLVC title. Going back to the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Frost’s teams racked up 104 wins with a .860 win percentage, the best record in Division II during that span, according to UIndy Athletics.
Frost said that one of her greatest memories on the field was a double-header sweep over Alabama-Huntsville, a team that was a regular national contender and consistently ranked in the top 10. Her team celebrated on the long bus ride back, excited about the big win which Frost said was a turning point for the program.
“It was really, really cool to watch the transformation of our team on that specific weekend, and I think that kinda kick-started everything from there on out,” Frost said.
Frost’s teams have made it to the NCAA tournament for a midwest-best 12 consecutive times, including four Super Regional appearances and Division II College World Series appearances in 2009 and 2015. 30 All-Americans have emerged from her teams during her 16-year tenure as head coach, according to UIndy Athletics.
Frost said it is a career goal to bring home a national championship for the team and the school. Both Willey and Honkomp said they fully expect UIndy softball to win that title under Frost.
“There’s no doubt in my mind at some point there will be a national championship, I know it’s gonna happen, it’s just a matter of when.” Willey said.
Although that plan is very exciting, Frost said the season cancellation due to COVID-19 was really a punch to the gut and it is unfortunate that they will never know how they would have done this year. Her priority, however, has been to comfort and guide her team.
Willey is confident that the softball team will pick up where they left off and that Frost’s tradition of premier softball will continue. Coach Frost focuses less on herself, and more on those who surround her.
“We have a great athletics department, supportive administrators, I love working with the young ladies, the people at UIndy are second to none. The support that you get speaks volumes. It’s a place that I enjoy, a place that I love,” Frost said.