David Sylvester enters his eighth season as head coach of the SUNY Geneseo softball team in 2020 after serving one year as assistant coach in 2019. He enters this season with a career coaching mark of 146-89, ranking second in coaching wins and third in winning percentage (.621) in program history.
In 2019, Geneseo posted a program-record 37 wins as it earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and secured the program's first ever NCAA Regional Championship. The Knights defeated Dickinson, 2-1, in the regional opener and staved off elimination with a 6-2 victory over the Red Devils before defeating host Thomas More, 3-0 and 5-4, in consecutive games to advance to the NCAA Super Regional for the first time in program history. Danni Napoli '19 was named SUNYAC Player of the Year while Ashlyn Kersch '20, Brooke Wolff '20 and Hannah Elmer '20 were each selected as SUNYAC All-Stars. Napoli and Kersch went on to earn NFCA All-Region honors as well.
In 2018, Sylvester spurred the Knights to a 32-9 mark, including a 13-3 record in regular-season conference play to earn the top seed and host the SUNYAC Tournament. Geneseo powered through the conference championship, defeating Cortland, 5-1, in the final game to earn the program's first SUNYAC title since 2002. The Knights went on to the NCAA Regionals where they defeated Mt. St. Mary, 4-0, and host St. John Fisher, 3-0, to advance to the regional final, but Geneseo fell in consecutive games to the Cardinals. Alyssa Persich '19 was named NFCA All-Region and first team All-SUNYAC while Taylor Moore '19 and Danni Napoli '19 were named second team All-SUNYAC. Sylvester also earned his first SUNYAC Coach of the Year award.
In 2016, Sylvester led Geneseo to a 21-15 record, reaching 20 victories for the third consecutive season and the fourth time in five season at the helm. The squad narrowly missed a postseason bid, posting a 9-9 mark in conference play. Danni Napoli '19 was named first-team all-conference for a second consecutive season and received National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) All-Region honors as well.
The Knights posted a 25-17 record in 2016, including a 14-7 mark in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play. The squad reached their eighth consecutive SUNYAC Tournament but feel just short of a conference championship. Napoli was named First Team All-SUNYAC while pitcher Mikayla Moore '16 and outfielder Claire VanNewkirk '18 were named to the Second Team.
In 2015 Sylvester led the program to a regular season record of 28-12, the most wins since the 2004 team won the same number and best winning percentage (.700) since the 2003 team went 29-7. Sylvester guided the Knights to its seventh-straight SUNYAC Tournament appearance but the second-seeded Knights fell to top-seeded Cortland in the title game, 9-2. Senior pitcher Corrin Spallone earned All-Region honors and was named SUNYAC Co-Pitcher of the Year while teammates senior Ashley Fillmore and junior Courtney Budynas landed second-team recognition.
Sylvester, who has been part of the program since 2010, led the Knights to a 18-16 record in 2014, finishing fourth in the SUNYAC regular season with an 11-7 mark. The team was eliminated from the SUNYAC Tournament by a 5-4, extra-inning loss to top seed and eventual champion Oneonta. Senior first baseman Samantha Trapasso garnered Second-Team All-SUNYAC recognition for her performance during the season.
Prior to taking over as head coach, he spent three seasons as the Knights' pitching coach. Under his tutelage, three-time All-SUNYAC pitcher Janine Montera '11 garnered NFCA All-Region honors in 2010, along with five other all-region selections during his tenure.
Sylvester earned a bachelor of science degree in education and history from Geneseo in 1985 and returned to complete a master's degree in education in 1990. He currently serves as the middle/high school principal at York Central School. Sylvester previously spent 14 seasons as the head softball coach at nearby Perry High School where he compiled a 150-73 mark. He also served as the head softball coach at Alexander High School for two seasons.