Head Coach Sarah O'Malley-Fisher
Sarah O'Malley-Fisher begins her fourth season as head softball coach at Concordia University Chicago.
In her first three seasons at the helm, O'Malley-Fisher has guided the Cougars to school-record 19-win seasons twice, in 2013 and 2015. During those years, the Cougars also compiled the two best seasons in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play with 15-9 and 14-8 records respectively and the programs' first two conference tournament berths.
O'Malley-Fisher's chief goal for the program is building it for consistency over the long run. "I think that we've done a good job these last three years of defining the program and its culture. I've been blessed with a good coaching staff and a core of selfless, hard-working veteran players like Meghan Johnson, Allie Bochat and Alicia Salata that bought into what we are trying to accomplish. They are preparing our younger players, who will become the leaders and eventually pass the torch on to future Cougar players."
O’Malley-Fisher is the former co-head coach at Division I University of Illinois-Chicago (2001-08), where she coached former CUC coach (2010-12) Alison Haehnel (then Aguilar) during her four years. O’Malley-Fisher watched with interest Haehnel’s success at Concordia-Chicago and, when Haehnel resigned to move to California with her husband, O’Malley-Fisher was immediately interested in the position at Concordia and applied.
“It’s a great feeling to watch your former players succeed, not only as coaches but in other areas of life as well,” said O’Malley-Fisher. “Ali left me a program that made great strides during her time here, and I had the opportunity to build upon what was already a very solid foundation.”
O’Malley-Fisher’s primary college coaching experience is at the NCAA Division I level, but she counters that many of the differences between the two levels are mostly on legislative matters, O’Malley-Fisher notes a major similarity shared by scholarship and non-scholarship athletes alike in saying, “I think that athletes are the same across the board in that the best ones bring the passion and drive to what they do and are willing to put in the work necessary in order to be a champion.”
O’Malley-Fisher is a 1994 graduate of UIC with bachelor’s degrees in English and history. She played four years with the Flames’ softball program and made an immediate impact as a freshman to the team’s first-ever conference championship team in 1991. As a senior, she helped lead UIC to the 1994 College World Series, the deepest NCAA postseason run by any UIC team in history.
Following graduation, O’Malley-Fisher took a teaching position at Downers Grove North High School but returned to UIC in 1999 to assist with the softball program. In 2001, she was promoted to co-head coach where, along with Tom Gray, she directed the Flames’ program for the next eight years. During her tenure, she led UIC to four regular-season Horizon League championships, two tournament championships, two regional appearances (2002, 2004) and three seasons of forty wins or more. Among the players she coached were four NCAA All-Americans, eight All-Region honorees, four Conference Players of the Year and two Pitchers of the Year, including Haehnel.
Since 2008, O’Malley-Fisher has served as an instructor for the Bulls/White Sox Academy, the Prep Baseball Report Academy and the DuPage Training Academy. She has assisted with the softball program at Glenbard West High School and served as head coach for the Glen Ellyn Phillies Travel Softball Team. Since 2011, O’Malley-Fisher has coached girls aged 14-18 as part of the DTA Elite Softball Program in conjunction with the DuPage Training Academy.
O’Malley-Fisher is married to Todd Fisher. The couple has two children, an 13-year-old son Brennan and a nine-year-old daughter Lillian.