HEAD COACH LOREN LAPORTE
Loren LaPorte, formerly Loren Messick is in her seventh year with the softball team at James Madison University. She served an assistant coach for five years and was elevated to head coach in September of 2017.
In her six seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled a record 280-70, including an 107-11 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. She helped the program pick up its first-ever Top-25 ranking, earn five straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the program’s first-ever NCAA Super-Regional appearance in 2016.
In her first season as head coach in 2018, LaPorte guided the Dukes to a 43-14 overall record, including 19-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year, LaPorte helped JMU earn its seventh overall and sixth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. Under her guidance, Odicci Alexander and Kate Gordon where named to the NFCA All-America Third Team. She also coached Alexander 2018 CAA Player of the Year and boasts five NFCA All-Region and four All-CAA student athletes.
LaPorte guided four of JMU’s starting infielders to All-CAA recognitions over the 2017 season. She led Morgan Tolle, Niki Prince and Madyson Moran to NFCA First-Team All-Region honors as the Dukes led the country with a total of eight NFCA All-Region selections. JMU set a program and conference record for wins with a 52-8 finish, which included victories of No. 17 Missouri and No. 2 Auburn. The Dukes claimed their fourth CAA Championship after dominating the tournament field, marking the first time in school history JMU had won back-to-back softball titles. JMU earned a bid to the Waco Regional, but fell to the host Lady Bears in the Regional Final with a 2-2 postseason record.
In 2016, LaPorte helped three of the Dukes' starting infielders pick up All-CAA recognitions. She also helped three Dukes earn NFCA All-Region honors with Megan Good and Morgan Tolle earning first-team honors and Madyson Moran earning third-team honors. JMU won a school-record 50 games and claimed its third CAA championship after sweeping through the conference tournament. The Dukes then hosted the programs second NCAA Regional and advanced to and hosted their first ever Super Regional.
In 2015, LaPorte helped Morgan Tolle and Niki Prince earn All-CAA, First Team NFCA All-Region, and First Team VaSID All-State honors. JMU won a record 48 games, breaking the record they had set in the previous year. The Dukes finished first in the CAA in the regular season with a perfect 19-0 conference record and second in the conference tournament. This play earned Madison the No. 15 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Championship.
In 2014, LaPorte helped all of the Dukes' starting infielders pick up All-CAA recognitions, including CAA Player of the Year honors for shortstop Caitlin Sandy. JMU won a school-record 45 games and claimed its second CAA championship after sweeping through the conference tournament.
In her first season, she helped guide the Dukes to a 42-17 record and an 18-3 mark in the CAA. JMU finished second in the CAA regular season and conference tournament and picked up the program's first ever NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Madison traveled to the Knoxville Regional at the University of Tennessee and picked up the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament with a 5-0 win over Longwood. The Dukes placed seven players on the two All-CAA teams, two on the All-Rookie team and had the CAA Player and Rookie of the Year.
Prior to coming to Harrisonburg, LaPorte spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Radford University her predecessor Mickey Dean, including serving as the recruiting coordinator. During her time at Radford, LaPorte assisted Dean in leading the Highlanders to a 110-59 overall record, a 48-9 Big South Conference record and three consecutive Big South Conference Regular Seasons. During her tenure, Dean also was named the Big South Coach of the Year all three years, with him crediting his entire staff for the award. She was also a part of the 2010 Big South Tournament title and NCAA Regional Appearance, where RU picked up a pair of wins, including one over No. 24 Florida State, and finished as runner-up in the Regional.
LaPorte, a former Roanoke College standout, joined Radford after spending the 2009 season as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She made a successful transition from player to coach, serving as the Maroons' infield instructor and helping them to a 24-11 overall and 12-6 ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) record.
As a player, LaPorte enjoyed a highly successful four-year career in a Maroon form. The four-time First Team All-ODAC shortstop left Roanoke ranked in the top ten in sacrifice hits (2nd, 41), batting (5th, .383), assists (5th, 233), hits (7th, 180) and runs (7th, 135). A mainstay in the starting lineup, LaPorte was a key factor in Roanoke winning a pair of ODAC championships (2005 & 2006) and earning NCAA regional bids both seasons, reaching the finals in 2006. The Maroons, who finished ranked 21st nationally in 2005 and 2006, posted an impressive 118-38 overall and 57-15 conference record during Messick's four-year career.
LaPorte has also served as an assistant coach with a pair of Virginia summer-club teams; the 2009 U-23 Renegades and the 2007 U-16 Northern Neck Rage.
Loren Messick married her husband, Josh LaPorte, in the summer of 2013, and the two are parents to a son, Holden, born in November of 2015.