Mike Roberts was named head coach of the University at Buffalo softball program on August 17, 2017, becoming just the fourth head coach in the softball programs division I history.
"We are thrilled to have Mike as the new leader of our softball program," Greene said. "Mike has a true passion for the sport of softball, and his ability to train and teach is at the very top of the collegiate game. His ability to connect with players, his unmatched recruiting ability and his prominence on the national stage will make him a very valuable asset to our softball program. His success as a pitching coach, in addition to his reputation as a leader, made him a natural fit for the University at Buffalo. I know under Mike's leadership, our softball program will be reaching new heights in the near future."
"I'm happy to be a part of the Buffalo athletics family," said Roberts. "I want to thank everyone involved in the hiring process at UB for giving me this amazing opportunity to lead the softball program. I'm looking forward to building this program into a perennial power not only within the Mid-American Conference but on the national stage as well. I can't wait to meet this young group of student-athletes and to get started on building something special here at UB."
The Auckland, New Zealand native comes to western New York after a pair of very successful seasons at the University of Washington as the Huskies pitching coach. The Huskies closed out a strong 2017 campaign with a 50-14 overall record, their first 50-win season since 2010. The Huskies also were able to advance to the College Softball World Series semifinals for the first time since 2013 as they fell to #1 Florida, 5-2.
Under Roberts' guidance in 2017, the Huskies pitching staff lowered their team ERA from 3.24 to 2.38, ranking fourth in the PAC-12. Once Washington reached the NCAA Tournament, the pitching picked up their play as they allowed just 29 runs across 10 games while holding five of their opponents to two runs or fewer.
Huskies ace Taran Alvelo was able to put together a spectacular sophomore campaign under Roberts' watchful eye last season as she earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors after producing a 33-9 record to go along with a 2.07 ERA, 200 strikeouts and eight shutouts on the season. As a team, the Huskies pitching staff struck out 308 batters on the season.
In his first season with the Huskies, Roberts helped guide the team to an overall record of 42-17 and the program's 22nd consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. He also helped Alvelo earn Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year honors and Second Team All-Pac-12 after an impact freshman campaign on the rubber.
Roberts has also been the assistant pitching and catching coach for the New Zealand women's National softball team since 2016.
Prior to Washington, Roberts was at the University of Oregon, where he spent the 2014 season as the Ducks' pitching coach. Roberts helped the Ducks to a 56-9-1 overall record, a 20-3-1 Pac-12 mark and the conference title. Under Roberts' leadership, the Ducks led the Pac-12 with a 1.82 earned run average while Oregon pitchers held the Nos. 2 and 3 spots in the individual rankings for ERA. Under his tutelage, Oregon's Cheridan Hawkins was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in 2014.
Before joining the staff at Oregon, Roberts spent three seasons coaching the pitchers and catchers at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Roberts, an accomplished pitcher in his own right, won two ASA national titles, an ISF Junior World Title, eight New Zealand national championships, an NAFA Triple-A North American crown and an Australian state title as a pitcher.
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, He pitched in 13 ISC world club tournaments and was a member of the ISF Samoan men's national team. Roberts twice earned ASA and NAFA All-America honors and won numerous U.S. and New Zealand MVP awards. He also earned the New Zealand Herald Junior Sports Award, given to the top five prospects in all sports in his home country.
Roberts began his coaching career as head coach at Denmark (Wisc.) High School, where he posted a 51-19 record in three seasons. He was also a private softball pitching instructor before and during his time as a high school coach.
Roberts and his wife, Therese, have two children, Lauren and Mitchell.