Everyone knows that Pat Lipira had few equals when it came to coaching fast-pitch softball at the collegiate level.
She can match her softball coaching record at Missouri Southern State University against anyone. Six hundred and thirty-two victories and only 275 defeats for a whopping .697 percentage.
Add to the enviable record four NAIA District 16 championships, four MIAA championships, and one NCAA Division II national championships.
But, few people remember that Pat Lipira also coached volleyball at Missouri Southern.
And, she did that quite well, also. In seven years as coach of the Lady Lion spikers, Lipira compiled a record of 265 wins, 90 losses, and 11 ties for a .739 wining percentage.
Although her 1986 volleyball team won 47 games (47-10), her best team was the 1984 squad that finished 42-6, won the CSIC championship and finished second in NAIA District 15. Her volleyball squads never had a losing record and won 40 or more matches four times.
Pat had only one losing season in softball- her first in 1982 as the Lady Lions went 14-20. That team, however, finished second in NAIA district play.
Pat’s best team was the national championship club in 1992. That team finished 50-7 and won the MIAA and Midwest Regional titles en route to taking the national championship. Southern defeated Cal State- Hayward 1-0 for the national title.
Six of Lipira’s softball squads won 40 or more games. Her teams won NAIA District 16 titles in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1989. The 1986 team finished fourth nationally.
Missouri Southern won MIAA championships in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998. The 1990 team was fourth nationally after winning the Midwest Region title.
If one word could be used to describe Lipira’s coaching style, it would be enthusiasm. She was her team’s biggest cheerleader and her love of the game and her players was emphasized during the annual woman’s athletic dinners at Missouri Southern. Pat thoroughly entertained the crowd with stories about things that happened to the team, and her during the season.