Marcella Vanlandingham, the program's all-time winningest coach, returns for her 22nd season at the helm of the Panthers. Since 1996, Vanlandingham has compiled a career record of 606-516-1 (.540) at ODU, including an impressive conference mark of 286-145 (.664).
Vanlandingham guided the Panthers to the team’s first GLIAC regular season title as ODU completed conference play with a 21-5 record in 2014. ODU competed in the GLIAC tournament as the number one seed and finished as tournament runner-up. Vanlandingham and the Panthers earned the right to play in the NCAA Regional tournament, their first appearance in school history. For the team’s performance during the 2014 campaign, Vanlandingham was honored as the GLIAC Coach of the Year for the first time.
Following her arrival at ODU, Vanlandingham quickly turned the softball program into a regional power. Beginning in 2001, she guided the Panthers to a streak of eight consecutive American Mideast Conference titles, including Region IX titles and NAIA World Series appearances in 2002 and 2005. The Panthers have won 10 or more conference games in 14 seasons under Vanlandingham, including a perfect AMC mark of 14-0 and school record 45 wins in 2005.
Ushering in the Panthers to the NCAA Division II level in 2011, Vanlandingham has led the Panthers to three GLIAC tournaments, a conference tournament championship appearance, a GLIAC regular season championship, an NCAA national tournament appearance, and a .529 conference winning percentage.
Vanlandingham's players have received numerous honors during her tenure, both on and away from the diamond, including seven NAIA All-Americans, six conference player/pitchers of the year, 37 NFCA All- Region selections, 127 all-conference honorees and 27 NAIA All-American Scholar Athletes. Vanlandingham is a five-time AMC Coach of the Year and in 2005, she and the ODU coaching staff were tabbed the NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
A 1992 graduate of Asbury College (Ky.), Vanlandingham received a degree in physical education. Upon completing her Master's degree in Sports Administration from Eastern Kentucky University in 1994, Vanlandingham returned to her alma mater to teach. During her one year at Asbury, she was also the assistant softball and volleyball coach, before coming to Ohio Dominican in the fall of 1995.
A native of Milton, Florida, Vanlandingham served as the AMC softball chair seven times during her 15-year tenure in the conference and was the NAIA Region IX softball from 2007 to 2009. Away from her coaching responsibilities, Vanlandingham also helped initiate the Sport Management undergraduate curriculum at Ohio Dominican.