Diane Lokey enters her 11th season at West Chester University as head coach of the school’s softball squad and 13th overall in the college ranks. She has single-handedly resurrected a softball program at West Chester that was perennially a second-division program, which had not witnessed a winning season in nearly a decade.
Last season, West Chester won a single-season record 37 games and reached the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in school history. As a result, Lokey and her coaching staff were lauded NFCA Atlantic Region coaching staff of the year for their efforts in guiding the Golden Rams to the most successful season in school history.
During Lokey’s tenure, the Golden Rams have conjured up an overall record of a record of 263-230-1 (.533). She owns a career 312-257-1 (.548) ledger, including her two seasons at Elizabethtown College.
In 2011, Lokey guided her charges to the PSAC Championship Game for the first time in school history, losing to nationally ranked Indiana (Pa.) in the finals. Along the way, West Chester established a then-school record for wins in a single season with 34. It marked the third time in Lokey's eight previous years at West Chester that the softball team eclipsed 30 wins in a season.
She tutored four-time, first-team All-PSAC East outfielder, Erin MacNamee, who single-handedly rewrote the school's record book during her tenure on South Campus.
In 2010, Lokey authored her second 32-win campaign by finishing 32-18 overall – equaling her 32 wins during the 2008 campaign. The team finished 12-4 in the PSAC East capturing the regular season division title for the first time in school history. As a result, Lokey was lauded coach of the year for the second time in three seasons. The Golden Rams advanced to the PSAC postseason tournament final round of three for the first time as well.
Second team All-America shortstop, Sam Ingersoll, won the loop’s triple crown in 2010, leading the PSAC in batting average, home runs and RBI. She was named the PSAC East player of the year as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer academic all-area performer of the year.
In 2009, Lokey guided her team to a 28-20 mark and a spot in the NCAA regional tournament for the second year in a row – the only two NCAA appearances in school history. Lokey tutored four players, who were All-PSAC East that season, including second team All-American Erin MacNamee.
Tabbed with rebuilding the Golden Rams’ program seven seasons ago, Lokey has turned the Golden Rams’ diamondwomen into one of the top programs in the Eastern Division. Her efforts, have not gone unnoticed by the regional committee, who selected West Chester University for the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Division II regionals.
Lokey guided her charges into the regional tournament for the first time in 2008 where West Chester recorded its first NCAA Tournament victory by eliminating Bowie State in the double-elimination regional.
Lokey was accorded PSAC East coach of the year after masterminding a school-record 32 wins in 2008 and reached 10 victories in conference play for the first time in over a decade. The Golden Rams authored a 13-game turnaround from 2007 overall and a seven-game improvement within the PSAC Eastern Division. Along the way, West Chester set another school record with its 16-game winning streak during the month of March – a month that saw the Rams win 21 of their 27 contests.
MacNamee was named first team all-league as West Chester put five players on the all-league squad. Three Golden Rams were also selected to the all-region team and one was picked for the NCAA regional all-tournament team.
West Chester’s softball team broke 10 single-season team records in 2008. Left-handed pitcher Shannon Padula became the school’s first 20-game winner, finishing 24-13 on the year.
Padula developed into one of the Eastern Division’s top hurlers while gaining the respect of the national powers, which reside in the division. In 2007, West Chester dropped all four games to nationally ranked Bloomsburg by a combined six runs.
In 2006, West Chester put together a 21-win season behind Lokey’s guidance, its first 20-win campaign since 2003 and just the program’s third 20-win season in its history at the time.
Additionally, the Golden Rams have excelled in the classroom. The Golden Rams were recently honored as a member of the “Girls Got Game” all-academic team for the 2008-09 academic year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as well. West Chester ranked 47th among all Division II schools with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.17.
West Chester’s softball team placed 11th nationally in team grade-point average in 2005-06 and 23rd nationally in 2006-07. Last year, the Rams were once again named among the Top 35 schools nationally in grade-point average.
In 2002, Lokey engineered one of the greatest sudden turnarounds in the history of Blue Jay athletics while at Elizabethtown College.
Lokey defied all expectations by turning an 11-19 squad into a winner that spring, despite losing seven seniors to graduation. Prior to that campaign, the Blue Jays were picked to finish last in the Commonwealth Conference’s preseason coaches’ poll. But, Lokey inspired her team to a second-place finish during the regular season and guided the club to the playoffs for the first time since 1994.
Elizabethtown set numerous program records in 2002, including marks for longest winning streak (15 games) and victories in a single season (30). Her club finished 30-12 overall.
In 2003, Lokey guided the Blue Jays to a runner-up finish in the Commonwealth Conference playoffs, falling just two wins shy of reaching the NCAA Division III Tournament. The team again finished second in the conference with a 19-15 overall record.
Lokey served as program director at the Lititz Community Center from 1988-95 and was an executive director there from 1995 to 2000. She served as a volunteer assistant coach for Lebanon Valley College’s softball team in the spring of 2001 and served as a varsity assistant field hockey coach at Elizabethtown High School from 2000-03.
From 1992-2000, Lokey was a varsity assistant softball coach at Warwick High School where she helped the team bring home section championships in 1993, 1996 and 1997; Lancaster-Lebanon League titles in 1996 and 2000; and a PIAA Class AAA District III crown in 1997.
As a player, Lokey has been honored as a Class A Amateur Softball Association Nationals All-American and has served as an ASA guest clinician.
Lokey was inducted into Elizabethtown High School's Hall of Fame in October 2010.
Lokey earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Leisure Management from Lock Haven University in 1987 where she played field hockey. She earned Division I all-conference recognition in the PSAC for her exploits as a defender in 1986. She earned her master's of science degree in Sport and Athletic Administration from West Chester University in 2010.