Lynn Curylo was named the program’s seventh head coach on July 18, 2016.
In her second season (2018), Curylo brought the Flames to their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance following the squad’s second consecutive Horizon League Championship. She was named Horizon League Coach of the Year for the second year running following a 19-4 conference showing and fourth consecutive regular season championship. Seven players earned All-League honors, including Horizon League Player of the Year Lexi Watts. Watts and Kayla Wedl earned national recognition as members of the NFCA All-Great Lakes Region First and Third Teams, respectively.
In her first season at the helm in 2017, she took the Flames back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 after they won the regular season for the third year in a row and then captured the Horizon League Championship for the ninth time in program history. She was awarded the title of Horizon League Coach of the Year as UIC went 20-4 against conference foes, setting a program record for most league wins, and posted 35 regular-season victories for the most since 2005 (38). Seven players earned All-League honors, including Pitcher of the Year Elaine Heflin, as Heflin and Lexi Watts were also selected to the NFCA All-Great Lakes Region Third Team.
Buksa hails from Long Beach, Calif., and will be working primarily with catchers and outfielders for the Flames. UIC softball head coach Lynn Curylo and Buksa are joined for the second time in their careers, as the two spent six seasons together on staff at Millikan High School in Long Beach from 1999-2005.
Buksa most recently served as the hitting, fielding and catching instructor at On Deck Batting and Training Facility, and has also contributed five years of coaching experience to the USA Athletics Premier Girls Softball team, as well as three years as the So Cal Athletics ASA Travel Ball Coach in Orange County, Calif.
The California native also had the opportunity to travel abroad to Italy with an 18U team, where she compiled a 5-1 record. Buksa attended Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in psychology.
Mary Connolly is a native of the Chicago area, calling Winfield, Ill. her home, and will be working with pitchers at UIC. Connolly attended DePaul from 2011-2015, where she amassed 44 Career homeruns and also owned a single season slugging percentage of .870.
The suburban native was crowned Big East Player of the Year in 2014 after compiling a .420 batting average and was also named a 2015 Academic All-American during her time with the Blue Demons.
Following her undergrad career, Connolly played overseas in the Netherlands in 2016, where she collected a .595 batting average and held batters to an earned run average of just 1.4.
Connolly most recently served as a graduate assistant at North Central College, where she acquired a master’s degree in leadership in higher education. While at North Central, Connolly brought the team’s overall ERA down from 3.65 in 2016 to 2.70 in 2017 as the team’s pitching coach. In addition to her graduate studies, Connolly coached and instructed at the Bulls Sox Academy.