« Softball 2020

Celene Funke

University of Louisville
Center Fielder
MBA (Earned Finance degree in 2019)


Funke is a two-time Google Cloud Academic All-American, earning first team honors in 2019 and third team honors in 2018. She is UofL softball’s only two-time Academic All-American. Funke earned her bachelor’s degree in finance in May 2019, graduating with highest honors and a 4.0 cumulative GPA. She earned the Woodrow M. Strickler Leadership Award for Finance and was named Outstanding Senior in Finance. She is currently pursuing her MBA and has maintained a 4.0 GPA through her first semester.

Additionally, she is a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member and a two-time All-ACC Academic and NFCA Scholar Athlete selection.


Funke is the consummate teammate and leader both on and off the field. Celine is a team captain for the 2020 season. She brings positive energy to everyone around her and is always encouraging others. She is extremely hard-working and disciplined in everything she does. She is a also a member of UofL’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee and is an ACC representative to the NCAA. Throughout her career, she has earned the respect of her coaches, teammates, and peers.

From Head Coach Holly Aprile: “Celene Funke epitomizes what the Senior CLASS Award represents. She is actively involved in every aspect of being a student-athlete at the University of Louisville and is making the most of her college experience. Celene approaches every aspect of life with spirit, passion and a unique kind of energy that I sometimes refer to as ‘focused hyperdrive’ because she channels her energy in a positive direction. I have been coaching for 25 years and have not come across a student-athlete who encompasses each of these qualities across the board. Celene genuinely loves her school and it shows through her involvement in the athletic department and the university as a whole. As a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and an ACC representative to the NCAA, she is well-regarded, trusted and respected throughout the Louisville community and by instructors, administrators, and coaches.”


Funke is among Louisville softball’s community service leaders with 57 hours entering the 2020 spring semester. Some of her many volunteer activities include: Blessings in a Backpack, writing letters to local schools, participating in the Softball & Inner City Youth program, Norton’s Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees and Lights and Bike to Beat Cancer, the Cardinal Cupboard Food Donation Drive, Community Cleanup in Old Louisville, Dreams With Wings Jack-O-Lantern Stroll and baking for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentucky.


Funke registered a team-best 48 runs and stood second with a .324 batting average and 29 stolen bases last season – placing her second UofL’s record list for single season stolen base. The speedy centerfielder led the nation and holds Louisville’s single-season record with 13 triples and is tied for second on Louisville’s career list with 15.  While not highly recruited out of high school, she worked hard to improve her game and went on to become a two-year starter. As a freshman, the naturally right-handed batter moved to the left side of the plate and went on the lead UofL in batting average as a sophomore and make her mark on UofL’s season and career lists in stolen bases and triples.