Entering her 20th season at the helm of the Kean University softball program, head coach Margie Acker has re-established the Cougars competitively both in the NJAC and across the region. Acker has led the team to seven NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the 2015 College World Series. Acker owns 435 career victories at Kean.
Acker guided the softball program to its seventh-straight season of at least 20 wins in 2018 and its fifth-straight season of appearances in the NJAC Touranment. Three players were named to the All-Conference and NFCA All-East Region.
Acker guided the softball program to its sixth-straight season of at least 20 wins in 2017, and helped mold senior infielder Emily Sabo into a Division III All-American – just the sixth Cougar to ever earn the distinction. The Cougars 36 wins were the second-most ever in program history. Sabo concluded her storied career by being named the NJAC Female Athlete of the Year, just the fifth person in Kean history to garner an NJAC Player of the Year nod. Kean reached the NCAA Super Regionals (capturing the NJAC Championship and NCAA Union Regional Championship along the way). The Cougars fell to eventual national champion Virginia Wesleyan University.
The 2015 team boasted two All-Americans and ended the year ranked No. 6 in the nation. She and the rest of the staff were named the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
After winning a pair of New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships as a player at then-Trenton State College, Acker has surpased that total with three championships (2010, 2011, 2017) at the helm of the Cougars program.
The 2014 Cougars reached the NJAC Championship Game and swept through the NCAA Union Regional, making them one of the final 16 teams left standing in the nation.
Acker guided the Cougars back to the NCAA Division III softball tournament for the first time as a head coach in 2008, as the Cougars then posted just the third 30-win season in program history. The 2010 squad posted the then second most wins in school history, as they came within one win of the World Series en-route to finishing with 32 wins.
Her 2007 team finished as Eastern College Athletic Conference Southern Championship Runners-Up after going 24-15 during the year. The Cougars also appeared in the ECAC playoffs in 2006 and 2009.
The Cougars have been just as successful off the diamond, most recently posting the 83rd highest cumulative grade point average of the more than 400 NCAA Division III schools that sponsor softball. The Kean softball program has been ranked in each of the last 11 years, with individual academic recognition 47 times from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes. In the last eight years, four players have also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors for their success in the classroom and on the field.
A former outfielder and catcher for then Trenton State, Acker brings an impressive personal background to the dugout. A 1992 NCAA Division III All-American outfielder for the Lions, Trenton State won 48-of-50 games and the 1992 NCAA Division III National Championship her senior season. A New Jersey Athletic Conference first-team all-star, Acker batted .438 and stole 21 bases in 25 attempts that season.
As a junior, she batted .425 and committed just one error in 31 games before having to miss the NCAA Tournament after suffering a broken arm late in the season. In addition to being an accomplished outfielder, Acker also spent time as the Lions catcher, helping lead her team to a 92-9 overall record in her two seasons in a Lions' uniform.
Following her playing career, Acker served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Rider University in 1997-98, helping guide the Broncs to the Northeast Conference Championship and a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Prior to taking over the head coaching duties at Kean, she served as an assistant coach at Muhlenberg College in 1998-99. In her one season with the Pennsylvania school, the Mules finished second in the Centennial Conference and runners-up in the ECAC Tournament.
Acker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education with an emphasis in corporate fitness from Trenton State College in 1993.