MSU softball coach Joseph gets new three-year deal

Tony Paul and Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Jacquie Joseph, who completed her 22nd season, will remain on the job.

Michigan State softball coach Jacquie Joseph, who last year was accused and ultimately cleared of ordering an assistant coach to throw pitches at a player on purpose, has agreed to a new contract.

Joseph’s contract was up at the end of this past season.

Athletic director Mark Hollis confirmed the deal to The News, and said it’s a three-year agreement.

Joseph just completed her 23rd season as head coach at Michigan State. Her overall record is 634-655-1, with four appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the last in 2004.

She has guided the Spartans into the Big Ten tournament three of the last four seasons, including this past season, when MSU was 27-28. The Spartans lost to Illinois, 3-2, on a walk-off in the Big Ten tournament.

The News first reported in June 2015 that Michigan State Police and university police were investigating allegations by a former player, Alyssa McBride, that Joseph told assistant coach Jessica Bograkos to purposely hit McBride with pitches in batting practice, in retaliation for comments McBride made to a student reporter off-the-record, yet somehow found their way to Joseph.

Twice, McBride said she was hit by pitches, before two different games late last season. After the first one, she told one of the team’s managers, Ben Hayden, who told McBride he had heard the coaches discussing on the bus whether they should “hit” a player.

Prosecutors in two counties ultimately declined to pursue charges, and a law firm hired by MSU to conduct an independent investigation ultimately cleared Joseph and Bograkos of wrongdoing.

Joseph and Bograkos repeatedly denied the allegations.