Former University of Northern Iowa standout pitcher Julie Gerdes enters her sixth season with the Panthers. Gerdes came to the Panther staff after serving as the pitching coach at Wartburg College from 2005-07 and also assisting head coach Ryan Jacobs at Cedar Falls High School from 2004-07. As an assistant coach at Wartburg, Gerdes helped lead the Knights to a combined 102-23 record and two Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championships, including a 2006 IIAC regular season title. Not only did Gerdes assist with pitching at Wartburg from 2005-2007; she also helped Jacobs with pitching duties at Cedar Falls High School. Gerdes helped lead the Tigers to a 32-10 mark in 2007 and was ranked as high as fifth in Iowa's Class 4A. A 2000 graduate of Burlington High School, Gerdes began her collegiate softball career at Kirkwood Community College where she earned NJCAA Region XI first team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and also National Coaches Association-Louisville Slugger All-American first team. Gerdes pitching record at Kirkwood was an impressive 41-10 over two seasons, helping Kirkwood to an 84-29 team record. Following her career at Kirkwood; Gerdes joined the Panther pitching staff and tallied a 12-6 pitching record in her first season. She threw over 100 innings in each of her years as a Panther, and posted 17 complete games, including 12 in her junior season. Gerdes graduated from UNI in 2005 with a degree in Mathematics and taught at Cedar Falls High School from 2005-2007.
Gerdes coaching efforts with the Panthers Pitching staff has been an impressive turn around prior to her arrival at UNI. Gerdes improved the pitching staff's season earned run average over an entire run in her first season at UNI bringing the Panthers down from a 4.05 earned run average in 2008, to just a 2.80 in 2009. In Coach Gerdes last four seasons with the Panthers her squad averages just a 2.72 earned run average; a vast improvement from the previous four year period averaging 4.20 earned runs per game.
Julie has also found success through the years in her recruiting efforts. As recruiting coordinator Coach Gerdes has recruited and brought in much of the talent that has led to part of the success the Panthers program has put together and experienced the past few seasons keeping the Panthers a legitimate contender atop the Missouri Valley Conference year after year.