Mike Christner is in his 16th season as head softball coach.
The winningest coach in program history, Christner owns a 558-306 (.646) career coaching record. He ranks in the top 20 in wins among active NAIA coaches. Christner has guided his team to four NAIA national tournaments, seven Midwest Collegiate Conference regular-season titles, and four MCC Tournament crowns. The Statesmen also appeared in seven consecutive NAIA Region VII Tournaments from 2002-2008.
A six-time MCC Coach of the Year and two-time NAIA Region VII Coach of the Year, Christner was at the helm during the most successful campaign in program history in 2005. That spring, the squad advanced to its first-ever national tournament, breaking numerous individual and team records, including wins in a season at 51-22.
A great Champion of Character, Christner was named Region VII Coach of Character in 2007. He has coached 74 all-conference players, 43 NFCA all-region performers, 20 NAIA all-region players, and 17 All-Americans.
Prior to taking the reins of the softball program, he served eight years as an assistant baseball coach at William Penn. He also currently serves as assistant athletics director. Christner, a 1985 graduate of William Penn with a degree in recreation, is originally from Sigourney. He also has an associate’s degree from Indian Hills CC. Christner was employed at William Penn from 1984-88 and then went to work for UPS from 1988-98. He managed a business in his hometown from 1998-99 before returning to his alma mater.
An assistant high school softball coach for three years, he was the men’s softball ASA commissioner of the Ottumwa district for ten years and also coached ASA girls softball for four years, with one of his teams placing third in the state. An accomplished player in his own right, Christner garnered all-conference laurels his senior season at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman). He played in ten ASA national tournaments and ISC world championships as well. Christner was named to the Iowa Men's Fastpitch Hall of Fame in the summer of 2015.
Christner lives in Oskaloosa with his wife Cammie. They have three children: Steph, Ryne, and Matt.
Christner's Coaching Career at William Penn
2016 19-32 (6-16 HEART)
2015 22-30 (14-10 MCC)
2014 36-20 (19-4 MCC) (MCC & Tourney Champs, NAIA Nationals)
2013 32-21 (12-8 MCC)
2012 47-18 (22-2 MCC) (MCC & Tourney Champs, NAIA Nationals)
2011 37-18 (15-6 MCC) (MCC Champs)
2010 44-13 (16-6 MCC)
2009 40-18 (28-4 MCC) (MCC Champs)
2008 34-21 (21-5 MCC) (Region VII)
2007 46-14 (21-3 MCC) (Co-MCC Champs, Region VII Champs, NAIA Nationals)
2006 33-26 (14-8 MCC) (Region VII)
2005 51-22 (18-10 MCC) (Region VII Champs, NAIA Nationals)
2004 41-25 (9-3 MCC) (Region VII)
2003 39-11 (12-0 MCC) (MCC Champs, Region VII)
2002 37-17 (14-0 MCC) (MCC Champs, Region VII)
558-306 (241-85 CONF)
A 2005 graduate of William Penn, Christner returned to her alma mater in the summer of 2006 after serving as head softball coach at Ashford University the previous spring.
Christner began her impressive collegiate career at Indian Hills Community College before moving on to NCAA Division I Michigan State for another year. While she had considerable success at her two previous schools, Christner peaked in her time at William Penn. In becoming one of the top pitchers in the NAIA, she guided her 2005 squad to the school's first-ever national tournament appearance.
Among her accolades in the pitching circle, Christner was named an NFCA First-Team All-American in 2005. The MCC's Co-Pitcher of the Year that spring, she also took home two all-Midwest Collegiate Conference awards in 2004 and 2005. She broke several school records in both pitching and hitting, including strikeouts in a season (354) and career (644), wins in a season (28), pitching starts in a season (36), innings pitched in a season (247), and hits in a season (79).
She has accumulated a mountain of success as a head coach as well, leading Cardinal of Eldon HS to back-to-back Class 1A state championships in 2003 and 2004. Her 2005 team also reached the state tournament, finishing in eighth place.
Christner also assists in the transportation department at William Penn and spends her summers as the head softball coach at Knoxville HS.