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Leslie King

Head Coach

Head coach Leslie King enters her eleventh season at the helm of the University of Pennsylvania softball team. Since her arrival at Penn, King has coached 47 All-Ivy players. In 2010, the Quakers finished with 19 victories, giving them the third most wins in a season in the program's history. They placed second in the Ivy League South Division with a 12-8 record.

In 2009, Penn finished second in the Ivy South Division, with seven players receiving All-Ivy recognition.

In 2008, the Quakers set the program record for wins in a season (26).

No season was more memorable then 2007 for Penn softball fans. The Red and Blue finished the year as the best team in Penn softball history, winning the first Ivy League South Division title in program history. As a team, they set program records for runs scored (231), doubles (68), home runs (46), RBI (216), and slugging percentage (.494).

Penn also made a name for itself on a national level. The Quakers' defense led the nation in double plays per game (0.60) for almost the entire season. The team was also atop the Ivy League in multiple categories. The Quakers led the league in slugging percentage, on-base percentage (.378) and home runs, and were second in the Ancient Eight in batting average, runs, doubles, and RBI. But the real measure of success for this squad was the improvement they saw from the 2006 season, both offensively and in the circle. The team scored 43 more runs, had 20 more home runs, 47 more RBI and improved their slugging percentage, batting average and on-base percentage. The pitching staff's ERA went down 1.18 runs, as they allowed 38 fewer hits, 40 fewer runs, and 16 fewer home runs.

In 2006, the team went 18-26, tying an all-time record for wins at Penn. The team led the Ivy League in batting average, slugging percentage, hits, doubles, triples, walks and RBI's.

Prior to Penn, King was the head coach at George Washington University where she was instrumental in developing softball into a varsity sport for its inaugural season in 2003. Prior to her stint at GW, King was the assistant softball coach at Lock Haven University where she helped lead the team to a school-record 37 wins and a berth in the NCAA Regionals in 2002.

For 14 years, King was the starting shortstop for the New Zealand National softball team and served as captain of the squad that qualified for the Olympics in 2000. She was named the 2000 New Zealand Player of the Year, and her team won a silver medal at the World Championships that same season.

A dual athlete, King also played for the New Zealand soccer team. She captained the squad at the 1991 FIFA World Cup.

Her coaching tenure began in 1982 when she was a hitting and catching instructor for the Grand Slam Academy and served as a clinician at the Cal State Fullerton softball summer camp. King also served as the regional coach for the New Zealand Softball Association and was a player/coach for the Ramblers and Metro softball clubs in that country until 1991.

King earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Cal State Fullerton in 1985. While at Fullerton, she was an Academic All-America nominee and a three-time member of the Dean's List.

A four-year starter at catcher for the nationally ranked Fullerton softball program, King was a three-time all-conference honoree and helped lead her team to the Women's College World Series three times including a pair of runner-up finishes. After her collegiate career, King earned a spot on the 1985 USA National Team that toured South Korea and China.

Dani Gonzales


Gonzales makes her way to Penn via fellow Big 5 school Saint Joseph’s, where she spent her last seven years, first as a standout student-athlete, then as a coach. Most recently, from 2010-12, Gonzales served as an assistant coach with the Hawks. She helped coach the Hawks to two consecutive Atlantic 10 Tournament berths, an A-10 title game appearance, and its first 30-win season since 2002.

Prior to coaching, Gonzales was a member of the Saint Joseph’s softball program from 2005-09 where she was a mainstay in the circle. In addition to being captain of the team her senior season, she was a two-time A-10 All-Conference performer (2008, 2009), she was named as the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2007, named to the A-10 All-Tournament Team in 2009 and was a three-time A-10 Athlete of the Week honoree.

Gonzales graduated from Saint Joseph’s in 2009 with a degree in sports and entertainment marketing, then again in 2012 with a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management and marketing.