Joe Abraham's impact on the Charger softball program was immediate. In 2012, he guided the team to a winning record in his first season. In 2016, he led it to new levels of success.
Abraham was named the 2016 GLIAC Coach of the Year after leading Hillsdale to its best record in 25 years and 27 total victories. Hillsdale fell one spot short of its first NCAA Division II Tournament berth in a generation as well.
In his first year as head coach in 2012, Abraham guided the Chargers to a record of 25-24, their first winning record in six years. His aggressive style led to the team stealing 85 bases, which ranked in the top 20 nationally and blew away the old school record of 65 by a team in a single season.
Coupled with drastic improvements made to the facilities around Johnny Williams Field, and the addition of a recruiting class that could contribute right away, Abraham has been anything but shy in applying his stamp to the program.
Abraham was hired by Hillsdale on July 7, 2011, coming to Hillsdale from Division III Whitworth University, located in Spokane, Washington, where he was head coach from 2008-2011. His teams improved steadily throughout his tenure, finishing the 2011 campaign in third place in the Northwest Conference.
Abraham said the opportunity to work and coach at Hillsdale College fulfills a long-term goal he's had, personally and professionally.
"My number one goal is to do my part to fulfill Hillsdale's mission," Abraham said. "That might sound like just the politically correct thing to say, but I fully believe in the mission and believe its practice yields the best college education in the country."
While at Whitworth, Abraham took the program to previously unreached levels of success, both as a team and for its players individually. Before the 2009 season, no player from Whitworth had ever earned All-Region honors, and Abraham's players racked up three such honors between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Two players also picked up Academic All-District awards following the 2011 season, and the team's conference won-loss record improved from 11-15 in 2009 to 17-11 in 2011.
Abraham becomes the first male head coach of the Charger softball program since Jay Jondro's final season in 2004.
Prior to the start of his coaching time at Whitworth, Abraham founded the Buckeye Heat travel softball team in 1999. He spent 10 seasons coaching at various age levels of his travel program, and put together an overall record of 428-115, gaining statewide and nationwide respect as one of the Midwest's fastest-improving travel programs. He sent dozens of players to college teams around the country, and coached his teams to a top-25 percent finish at ASA national tournaments.
He also served as coach for the United States softball team at the International Cup tournament, which competed in Holland from 2004-06. He coached Ohio's top players in the Ohio vs. West Virginia All-Star games from 2005-08 and conducted many clinics for players in the Central Ohio area. He spent seven seasons coaching Thomas Worthington High School in Ohio, where he rang up a record of 103-52. His prep teams won three league championships in a six-year span, and achieved a top-10 ranking in the state of Ohio for the first time in school history in 2005.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Abraham graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in print journalism and political science. He went on to Capital University Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1996, eventually becoming an attorney, specializing in family law.