During her four-year tenure at Northern Illinois University, Megan Ciolli has blossomed as a coach. She has helped develop NIU's young talent, while also refining the skills of the Huskie veterans. NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard is impressed by her knowledge of the game and her ability to pass that knowledge onto the players.
"Megan knows the swing in and out," Chouinard said. "She is a great instructor. Over the past couple of years, she has done a great job of transitioning from being specifically an instructor to more of a coach."
Chouinard credits Ciolli with the development of former NIU outfielders Jenna Roberts, who tied the NIU single season record for stolen bases in 2009, and Katie Colby, who hit her first career home runs last season. Ciolli has also had an impact on current Huskie outfielders Dani Parrish and Zoe Sinner and 2009 MAC All-Tournament team honoree Andrea Colosimo.
Ciolli came to NIU after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Loyola University (Chicago) from 2005-2007. Ciolli trained multiple All-Region players during her tenure with the Ramblers while helping transform Loyola from a middle-of-the-road conference finish in 2005 and 2006 to regular-season champions of the Horizon League in 2007. At the culmination of the 2007 season, the Rambler coaching staff was voted the Horizon League Coaching Staff of the Year.
A standout collegiate player for Notre Dame, Ciolli was twice honored as team captain and was named third-team Louisville Slugger All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. In 2004, Ciolli was selected as the Big East Player of the Year. In her senior season, she led the team in batting average (.386), slugging percentage (.500), on-base percentage (.424) and runs scored (40). She broke the school record for stolen bases in a single season with 32. Ciolli's offensive efforts helped the 2005 Irish to a record of 45-13 overall, while their Big East mark of 16-2 won the conference regular season title. Notre Dame earned its fourth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament.
While playing centerfield for the Fighting Irish, Ciolli's consistent offensive output landed her on many pages of the Irish record book. She became the sixth Notre Dame softball player to earn multiple All-America honors in a four-year career and is the all-time leader in hits (284) and stolen bases (76).
Following her career at Notre Dame, Ciolli was drafted with the first pick in the second round by the NPFSL Chicago Bandits where she teamed with Chouinard to win back-to-back regular season championships in 2005 and 2006. As centerfielder for the Bandits in 2005, Ciolli had a perfect fielding percentage while starting every game. In May 2005, Ciolli received her bachelor's degree in managerial consulting from the University of Notre Dame. In May 2007, she received her master's of business administration in healthcare administration from Loyola.