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Longtime CMU softball coach Margo Jonker named to MAC Hall of Fame


On Sept. 22, 2012, Central Michigan head coach Margo Jonker shakes hands with the Northwood team following the Chippewas 11-1 win over the Timberwolves at Margo Jonker Stadium.

Margo Jonker has been named to the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020, the conference announced June 1. 

After retiring in 2019, Jonker capped a 40-year career leading the Chippewas with a 1,268-808-7 record and is the winningest coach in conference history and ninth all-time in NCAA Division I. 

Under Jonker's leadership, the Chippewas appeared in 13 NCAA Tournaments, won 10 MAC Tournament and regular-season championships and made an appearance in the AIAW World Series and the NCAA Women's College World Series. 

In terms of personal accolades, Jonker was named MAC Coach of the Year a record 10 times and was chosen as the NCAA Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 1987 and the Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2000. 

Jonker coached eight All-Americans and 53 all-region honorees, including 30 named to the first-team. She had 87 All-MAC First Teamers and 39 All-MAC Second Teamers during her tenure. 

Under Jonker, the Chippewa student-athletes earned seven MAC Player of the Year honors, three MAC Pitcher of the Year awards, six MAC Freshman of the Year honors, and seven times a Central Michigan student-athlete was named the MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. 

Jonker represented CMU and the MAC while serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic softball team, which won the gold medal in the 2002 games in Sydney, Australia. She also was involved with USA Softball's top international teams and served as an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning team at the 1998 World Championships in Japan. 

Now, Jonker is a member of six halls of fame: National Fastpitch Coaches Association (inducted in 2003), Grand Valley State University (1990), Michigan Amateur Softball (2000), West Ottawa High School (2001), Metro Detroit Amateur Softball Association (2014) and Mid-American Conference (2020). 

Under Jonker, the softball program won the Dick Enberg Team Leadership award three times since the recognition began in 2007 and the program received the Public Recognition Award from the NCAA multiple times. 

In 2008, the Chippewa softball facility was named Margo Jonker Stadium to honor the legendary coach. 

Joining Jonker in the Class of 2020 is Stevi Large Gruber (Akron women's track and field), Bryan Bullington (Ball State baseball), Wally Szczerbiak (Miami (Ohio) men's basketball), Ellen Herman-Kimball (Ohio women's volleyball) and Briana Shook (Toledo women's track and field and cross country).