Wolverine associate head coach Bonnie Tholl just wrapped her 18th season as a member of the Michigan softball coaching staff and her ninth as associate head coach in 2012. Tholl is the only assistant under head coach Carol Hutchins to ever be elevated to the position of associate head coach.
A long-time fixture in the first-base coaching box, Tholl provided guidance for a 2005 Michigan team that set the school record for wins (65) and shattered records in nearly every offensive category en route to the program's first-ever national championship. Tholl spends considerable time with the Wolverine outfielders and has overseen the development of six All-Americans, including two-time selection Kellyn Tate (1996, '98), at the position during her U-M coaching tenure. Under her tutelage, 13 U-M outfielders have combined for 25 All-Big Ten Conference selections, among them Melissa Taylor, who captured the 2001 Big Ten Player of the Year award. Last season, Nicole Sappingfield (leftfield) and Bree Evans (centerfield) were named to All-Big Ten first team, while Evans earned selection to the NFCA All-America third team.
In addition to her gameday and practice on-field responsibilities for the Wolverines, Tholl coordinates the program's recruiting process. Prior to her return to Michigan in 1994, Tholl served as an assistant and graduate assistant coach at Indiana University for two seasons (1992-93).
Tholl, head coach Carol Hutchins and assistant coach Jennifer Brundage earned the program's first Speedline/NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year honor following the team's title run in 2005. The trio of Hutchins, Tholl and Brundage have earned eight Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors (1999, 2001, '02, '04, '05, '08, '09, '10), while Tholl added a ninth citation as a part of the region's best coaching staff in 1998.
Tholl started four seasons (1988-91) at shortstop with the Wolverines, becoming the only player in the history of the conference to earn All-Big Ten first team honors four times. Tholl was selected to the All-Mideast Regional team three times -- twice as a first-team honoree and once on the second-team. She was one of four Wolverines named to the Big Ten All-Decade (1982-92) softball team.
Tholl led the Wolverines in runs for three years in a row (1989, '90, '91), while also leading U-M in walks for three seasons (1988, '89, '91). Tholl also shares the Big Ten Conference record for fewest strikeouts in a conference season (zero in 1991) and is the U-M record-holder for most steals in a game with four swiped bags against Florida A&M in 1990. A former U-M captain, Tholl was the recipient of the 1991 Michigan Maize and Blue award.
Tholl also participated in the 1993 Olympic Sports Festival and played with numerous Amateur Softball Association squads. She was invited to the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team tryout after a successful showing as a member of the U.S. Pan American Games Qualifying Team that advanced to the 1995 Pan American Games. She was also named to the ASA All-America second team in 1992.
Tholl graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sports management and communications in 1991. She also holds a Master of Science degree in athletic administration from Indiana University (1993). Tholl and her golden retriever, Jade, live in Ann Arbor.