Monica Harrison was named the first head softball coach in Carnegie Mellon University history in 2017, leading the team to a 13-25 record in the program's inaugural year in 2019. The team's first win came in its third game while the team also achieved the first shutout and first no-hitter during its season-opening spring break trip. Harrison led the Tartans, full of 15 freshmen, a sophomore and a senior, to five victories in one of the toughest Division III conferences in the nation. One of those wins in the University Athletic Association (UAA), which had two teams earn NCAA bids with one finishing as the national runner-up, was against a nationally-ranked opponent.
The success of the inaugural season was not missed by the UAA coaches as two players earned all-league status. First-years Megan Hu and Scotty McGee each earned the praise of opponents by collecting second-team honors.
The program's second season came to a close before the heart of the season could get started due to COVID-19. Harrison led the Tartans to a 7-5 record with all games played in Florida. Five players earned All-UAA recognition for their fast starts to the season, including repeat honorees of Megan Hu and Scotty McGee. Joining the sophomore pair with award recognition was sophomore Emily Song and freshmen Tessa Bruneau and Emily Finger.
The 2020-21 season was also shortened due to COVID-19 but the Tartans made the most of what they could schedule and finished 15-6-1 with three players earning the program's first All-Region awards. Megan Hu and Scotty McGee continued their award streaks while sophomore Piper Johnson joined them with regional and UAA recognition. Harrison also led the third-year program to its first regional ranking, entering the rankings on April 30 at seventh while finishing the regular season ranked eighth. The team compiled a program-best .353 hitting percentage, ranking 43rd in the nation, and team ERA of 3.32.
Harrison, a native of Pittsburgh, graduate of Shady Side Academy and alumni of the Pittsburgh Pirates RBI Program, came to Carnegie Mellon following a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Arcadia University. She became the program’s first full-time assistant before the 2016 season and helped the Knights to back-to-back Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth Championship appearances along with two straight Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Championship Tournament titles. In her two seasons, Arcadia totaled eight All-MAC Commonwealth honorees, a MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, ECAC Division III South Rookie of the Year, as well as a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region selection.
Prior to Arcadia, Harrison spent six seasons at Stevens Institute of Technology, where she assisted in all facets of the program from its inception as a varsity program. The Ducks posted a winning record in three of those seasons, and won a program-record 30 games as they advanced to the title round of the 2014 ECAC Championship Tournament. Stevens won 27 games in 2015 and was back in the ECAC championship final for the second consecutive year.
Harrison earned her bachelor's degree in economics with a concentration in sociology and minors in legal studies and African American studies from Bucknell University in 2007. She was a four-year letter winner for the Bison, where she served as team captain her senior year and earned NFCA and Patriot League all-academic honors. Harrison went on to a career in the private sector, working as a business manager for UBS in its Communications & Branding, Americas division on Wall Street.
Harrison resides in Monroeville with her two children, London and Kevin, and husband, Sean.