Career Honors & Awards
Canadian National Team Head Coach for 2008 Beijing Olympics
Fourth-Place Finish at Beijing Olympics
2006 ISF Hall of Fame Inductee
National Fastpitch Coaching College Instructor
2002 NFCA Midwest Region Staff of the Year
2002 AFLAC Assistant Coach of the Year
1999 Softball Canada jersey retired
1998 Qualifier for 2000 Sydney Olympics
1997 NU Softball Hall of Fame inductee
1996 Atlanta Olympics participant for Canada
1995 First Nebraska jersey retired (No. 16)
1993 Softball Canada Hall of Fame Inductee
Associate Head Coach Lori Sippel is a truly accomplished player and coach. She has extensive experience, including on the international level, where she is among an elite group of fewer than 150 worldwide members of the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame. As a head coach, she guided Team Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Canada's best finish ever. Back at home, Sippel has produced 17 all-region pitchers in the last 18 seasons.
Arguably the most dominant pitcher in Nebraska history, Sippel competed for the Huskers from 1985 to 1988, earning All-America honors twice as well as academic All-America honors and a nomination for the prestigious Honda Award. Her success as a player has translated into the coaching field, where she is widely regarded as one of the top pitching coaches in the nation, and she earned high praise on the international level when she was Team Canada's head coach.
Sippel has developed three All-America pitchers at Nebraska, including Jenny Voss (1998), Leigh Ann Walker (2000) and Peaches James (2004). Ashley Hagemann nearly joined that list, earning all-region honors in both 2011 and 2012. Hagemann was also a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2011, a noticeable accomplishment for a league that had five pitchers selected as first- or second-team All-Americans.
Sippel has had a pitcher earn regional or conference accolades nearly every season over the past 18 years. She has produced 17 NFCA All-Midwest region pitchers in the 18 years the award has existed and coached 18 pitchers to All-Big 12 or All-Big Ten accolades in the 17 seasons since the Big 12 was formed in 1996. Sippel has coached more all-region pitchers than any other coach in the Midwest region and produced more All-Big 12 pitchers than any other coach in the conference during Nebraska's time in the league.
Over the past 13 seasons, the Husker pitching staff has compiled at least 350 strikeouts 11 times, while posting nine of the top 10 single-season marks in school history. NU broke the single-season record in 2001 when the staff tossed 502 strikeouts. Also in 2001, Walker increased her career total to 858 strikeouts, breaking Sippel's 13-year-old NU record of 838. In 2004, James topped that mark, finishing her career with a remarkable 947 punch outs, including a school-record 394 strikeouts in 2004. Another of Sippel's prized pupils, Ashley DeBuhr fell just short of breaking James' record in 2007, finishing a stellar career with 936 strikeouts while averaging the most strikeouts per seven innings of any pitcher in school history.
Hagemann did top the mark in 2012, finishing her career with 988 strikeouts. En route to ending her career as Nebraska's all-time strikeout leader, Hagemann also became the seventh Husker pitcher to record 700 career strikeouts. Six of those pitchers have been coached by Sippel, while the seventh is Sippel herself.
Under Sippel's instruction, James improved each season and became one of the top pitchers in the nation. James was drafted by the Texas Thunder of the National Pro Fastpitch League, where she was an all-star and finished with a 13-3 record and a 0.88 ERA in 2004, shortly after completing her Husker career.
In 2005, DeBuhr became just the second player in school history to record 300 strikeouts in a season when she struck out a Nebraska sophomore-record 335 batters. Under Sippel's tutelage, DeBuhr showed remarkable improvement from her freshman campaign where she threw only 36.2 innings to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2005. A year later, DeBuhr continued to flourish, as she struck out 304 batters to become the first player in school history to record 300 strikeouts in more than one season. DeBuhr finished the season with a 26-10 record and a 1.50 ERA while tossing 12 shutouts in 32 starts.
DeBuhr was not the only Husker hurler to benefit from Sippel's expertise in 2006. Molly Hill also excelled and posted a record of 18-2 to set the school record with a .900 winning percentage as a freshman. Under Sippel's instruction, Hill was able to contribute immediately at the Division I level after pitching in the smallest class of high school softball in Nebraska.
The Huskers boasted one of the top staffs in the country in 2006, finishing with a team ERA of 1.65, 17 shutouts and 476 strikeouts, the second-highest total in school history. Sippel helped DeBuhr rank 22nd in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings (9.3), 23rd in wins (26) and 44th in ERA (1.50). As a staff, NU ranked ninth in winning percentage and 20th in ERA.
With Sippel's help, the staff topped nearly all of those totals in 2007, while finishing ninth in the nation in ERA. Hill showed dramatic improvement, finishing as just the third underclassman in Big 12 history to post the league's lowest ERA while finishing seventh in the nation with a 1.05 ERA. DeBuhr and Hill also combined to rank among the national leaders in every NCAA category.
After missing most of the 2008 season while preparing Team Canada for the Beijing Olympics, Sippel helped Nebraska post the second-best staff ERA in the Big 12 in 2009. Hill earned first-team All-Big 12 honors, as she finished fourth in overall ERA, but led the conference in ERA in league-only games. Overall during the competitive Big 12 season, Sippel's staff allowed nearly one fewer run per game than any other team.
In 2010, Sippel had to deal with injuries to her staff, but she helped develop Hagemann into a dominant pitcher by season's end. All-American transfer Robin Mackin was expected to be the Huskers' ace, but she struggled with injuries all season before retiring from the sport in April. That left the sophomore Hagemann as Nebraska's workhorse down the stretch with NU competing for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. Under Sippel's instruction, Hagemann pitched NU into the postseason and then allowed only two earned runs and just nine hits in 21.0 innings during the NCAA Tournament.
Although Nebraska may not have put up its typical numbers in the circle in 2010, both of the Huskers' primary pitchers earned academic all-region honors, with Mackin claiming second-team academic All-America accolades.
Hagemann then earned second-team academic All-America honors in 2011 during an outstanding season. Hagemann posted a 31-13 record with a 1.75 ERA and 344 strikeouts in 276.1 innings pitched. Under Sippel's instruction, Hagemann posted career numbers across the board, lowered her ERA by more than a full run and left her mark on the NU record books.
Hagemann, who ranked among the top 10 pitchers nationally in wins and strikeouts in 2011, posted the second-highest strikeout total in school history while ranking third in wins, fourth in complete games and fifth in innings pitched. She also set Nebraska junior class records for wins, innings pitched, strikeouts and complete games. On the conference level, Hagemann ranked second in the Big 12 in wins and appearances, third in innings and complete games, fourth in starts, sixth in shutouts and opponent batting average and eighth in ERA and saves. The Big 12 had five pitchers selected as All-Americans, while Hagemann was a second-team all-region pick and a first-team all-conference selection.
In 2012, Hagemann again finished in the top 10 nationally in strikeouts while winning 23 games. As a staff, Nebraska led the Big Ten Conference in two of the most important pitching statistics, leading the league with 383 strikeouts and holding opposing hitters to a league-low .215 batting average.
In addition to tutoring the Husker pitchers, Sippel works with all phases of the program, including coaching the outfielders, recruiting, film study and administration. Sippel was recognized for her contributions to the program when she was promoted to associate head coach on Aug. 5, 2002. Sippel had served as an assistant coach for the previous 13 seasons.
"Lori is an elite pitching instructor in a category with a select few," NU Head Coach Rhonda Revelle said. "But she is more than a pitching coach. She is a coach in all aspects of this program."
A two-time All-American as a player at NU, Sippel holds four NU single-season and five career records. On April 9, 1986, she threw the first seven-inning perfect game in NU history with a 2-0 win over Drake. It stood as the only seven-inning perfect game in Husker history until James tossed a perfect game against Oklahoma on May 14, 2004, under Sippel's tutelage. DeBuhr, another Sippel pupil, added her own perfect game against Iowa State in 2005.
As a freshman in 1985, Sippel won Big Eight Tournament MVP honors, as the Huskers claimed their second-ever league title. That season, the Huskers made their third appearance in the WCWS and had a school-best second-place finish. Sippel opened the 1985 Series with a no-hitter against Louisiana Tech and was 2-2 in the NCAA Tournament.
In 1987 and 1988, Sippel captained the Huskers to two more College World Series appearances, where Nebraska finished third and fifth, respectively. Sippel claimed two more conference tournament MVP awards.
Sippel was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, the GTE Academic All-American Softball Player of the Year and a Honda Award nominee in 1988. On April 30, 1995, Sippel's No. 16 jersey became the first retired by the Nebraska softball program.
A 13-year member of the Canadian National Team, Sippel was inducted into the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1994 she helped the Canadians qualify for the 1996 Olympics with a fourth-place finish at the World Tournament, and in 1990 she was on the team that finished sixth at the World Tournament.
Sippel played for Canada in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Columbus, Ga., in softball's debut as an Olympic sport. She helped 3-4 Canada to a fifth-place finish. Sippel was also involved with the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, serving as a color commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's softball telecasts.
After hanging up her cleats following the 1996 Olympics, Sippel came out of playing retirement in 1998 to compete for Canada in the World Championships in Japan. Sippel pitched a one-hit shutout and struck out 12 against Italy in the fifth-place game to qualify Canada for its second straight Olympic Games. She again retired from Team Canada in 1999, and her Canadian jersey has since been retired.
Sippel then moved into a coaching role with Team Canada and accomplished much with the squad after being named head coach in March of 2005. The Canadians finished second to the United States at the 2005 Pan-American Qualifying Tournament in December 2005 and Sippel guided Team Canada to a 2-1 upset victory of Team USA at the World Cup of Softball on July 19, the Americans' first loss in international play since 2002.
In the summer of 2006, Sippel guided the Canadians to an Olympic berth by virtue of a fifth-place finish at the World Championship in Beijing, China. Team Canada also added a second-place finish at the Canada Cup, as well as a third-place finish at the II World Cup of Softball, where Sippel's team defeated traditional power Australia in back-to-back games to earn third place.
After leading Team Canada to one win shy of a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Sippel earned the distinction of participating in the Olympics as both a player and a coach. Sippel's international legacy grew larger in 2005 when she was one of three Canadians selected for induction into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame.
In the spring of 1997, Sippel and Revelle were both inducted into the Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame. A true testament to her accomplishments, Sippel is enshrined in the hall of fames of her alma mater, her native country and at the most elite international level.
An international guest speaker, Sippel graduated from NU in 1988 with a degree in special education. She returned to her alma mater in 1990, after serving one season as an assistant coach at Kansas.