Lehotak Selected Penn State Head Softball Coach
July 22, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. – The Penn State softball program has found its new leader in veteran head coach Amanda Lehotak, Director of Athletics Dr. David Joyner announced today. Lehotak comes to Penn State with seven years of head coaching experience under her belt, including the last two seasons at Texas-San Antonio.
“We are looking to forward to having Amanda lead our softball program,” Joyner commented. “She represents all of the core values that we look for in a coach at Penn State and she presented a very strong and clear vision of how she plans to run and strengthen the softball program. She will be a great addition to our Penn State coaching family.”
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Joyner and (Associate Athletics Director) Charmelle Green for this incredible opportunity,” Lehotak said. “They certainly have a great vision of what Penn State softball can be and it certainly matches what I believe this program can become nationally. I would also like to thank the search committee for doing their due diligence during the search process and for showing what a great community there is at Penn State.
“I am beyond thrilled to join this University that has not only elite academics, but also an outstanding tradition of athletics,” Lehotak continued. “I am so humbled that I have been chosen to take over this program with so much potential. I am excited to get to Penn State and get to work and make Nittany Lion softball a contender both in the Big Ten and on a national level.”
Lehotak guided the Roadrunners to a 27-26 overall record this past season to give the program just their second winning overall record in the last seven years. She also led the team to a fifth-place finish and a berth in the WAC Tournament in UTSA’s first season in the conference. Additionally, Darian Blake was named to the All-WAC first team. In her first season at UTSA, Lehotak and the Roadrunners posted a 24-28 overall record and 12-8 mark in Southland Conference play en route to a third-place finish, which was the program’s highest finish since 2009. She had five players earn All-Southland honors in 2012, including Freshman of the Year Megan Low.
Prior to her time at UTSA, Lehotak spent six seasons at Jacksonville University, including five as the head coach. The Dolphins improved their win total each of Lehotak’s five seasons at the helm, culminating in a 44-16 overall record and 18-2 conference mark in 2011. That season, Jacksonville won the Atlantic Sun regular-season and tournament titles on its way to the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. Lehotak was selected as the 2011 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year as her squad set school records for home runs, earned run average, shutouts and fielding percentage. Lehotak left Jacksonville with a school-record 137 wins.
Lehotak owns a 188-206 record in seven seasons as a collegiate head coach at UTSA and Jacksonville. In addition to her one season as an assistant coach at Jacksonville, Lehotak was also an assistant coach at Missouri Western State for one season where she was responsible for recruiting, working with the outfielders, hitting instruction, coordinating camps and clinics, as well as managing the team’s travel schedule. She also served as an assistant coach at Daniel J. Gross High School in Bellevue, Neb. And was an interim assistant coach at College of Saint Mary in Omaha (2004).
A native of Omaha, Neb., Lehotak played collegiately at the University of Mississippi for two seasons (2000-01) before finishing her career at Nebraska-Omaha (2002-03). She set the single-season hits record in 2001 at Ole Miss and was a third team All-American at UNO with a pair of first team All-North Central Conference selections. Lehotak earned her bachelor’s degree in family science from Nebraska-Omaha in 2003.
Spy Note: Readers inform Spy that long-time assistant coach Jennifer McIntyre has left the program. Many in the softball community had hoped McIntyre would succeed Robin Petrini. However, McIntyre is still on the Nittany Lion roster, as of today, along with Lehotak. Spy will attempt to clarify.
Richardson Named Head Softball Coach
July 17, 2013
Dot Richardson, a two-time Olympic softball gold medalist for Team USA, has been named the fifth head coach in the history of the softball program, as announced by Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber, earlier today.
Richardson brings a vast knowledge of the game, which she has shared during stints as both a coach and a clinician. She has coached at the collegiate level, including as an assistant coach at Adelphi University while completing her master’s degree in 1988 and as a volunteer at Oregon State. Most recently, Richardson served as an advisor/instructional coach for Montverde Academy’s softball team.
She is the founder of the Dot Richardson Softball Association – a not-for-profit organization which provides instruction to coaches and athletes to help them reach their full potential. As part of this foundation, a travel ball organization was founded, with Richardson coaching “Dot’s Diamonds” to NSA National Championships at both the 10U and 18U levels.
Through the Dot Richardson Softball Series, Inc., Richardson has organized and taught at instructional camps and clinics throughout the nation since its founding in 1984.
Richardson takes over Liberty’s head coaching position after Paul Wetmore retired from the position in May following a 20-year career that included a program-record 547 career victories. Richardson becomes the program’s second head coach at the Division I level since the program was reinstated in 1994.
Richardson is one of the most decorated collegiate, national and international players in softball history.
She helped Team USA win Olympic gold in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000, hitting the game-winning home run in the gold medal game in 1996.
Internationally, she also played in five Pan American Games (1979, 1983, 1987, 1995 and 1999) and five World Championships (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998). She helped her team win five Pan American Game gold medals and four World Championship gold medals.
As a collegiate player, Richardson was a five-time All-American, earning AIAW All-America honors at Western Illinois and three All-America honors at UCLA. After transferring to UCLA from Western Illinois, she was recognized one year as an All-American by both organizations.
While at UCLA, Richardson helped the Bruins win their first of 11 NCAA national championships in 1982. She finished as a three-time Bruin softball team MVP and completed her career with a .349 batting average.
The standout shortstop was named UCLA’s All-University Athlete Award winner in 1983, sharing the honors with three-time Olympic track & field goal medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee. Additionally, Richardson was named the 1980’s NCAA Player of the Decade to cap off her stellar collegiate accomplishments. She is listed No. 43 on the Top 100 NCAA Student-Athletes of the Century.
Richardson is a 16-time Amateur Softball Association (A.S.A.) All-American and was inducted into the A.S.A. Hall of Fame in 2006.
Additionally, Richardson has been inducted into the State of Florida Hall of Fame (1992) and the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame (1996).
During her international playing career, Richardson was nominated for the Olympic Sportswoman of the Year award four times (1981, 1989, 1990 and 1996) and the Sullivan Award (Outstanding Amateur Athlete in the United States) four times (1981, 1989, 1990 and 1996).
Some of Richardson’s other national softball awards include the 1996 United States Olympic Committee Award, 1997 Babe Zaharias Award (Female Athlete of the Year), 1998 Sports Legends Award and the 2008 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.
After retiring from the game of softball in 2000, Richardson has served as the Executive Director and Medical Director of the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla.
After graduating from UCLA with an undergraduate degree in kinesiology/pre-med in 1984, Richardson received a M.A. in Exercise Physiology/Health from Adelphi in 1988 and her M.D. from Louisville in 1993.
She completed a five-year post-doctoral residency in orthopedic surgery from the USC/Los Angeles County Medical Center (July 1993 to June 1999) and participated in an orthopedic sport medicine fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif., the following year.
An active member of the Central Florida community, Richardson was named the 2012 Citizen of the Year in Lake County, Fla. She also received the 2012 Summit Award from the Women’s Research Center from UCF.
Richardson is married to Bob Pinto, the National Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Softball Ministry. Richardson also serves in the organization as board chair.
Richardson has authored two books (Go For It! A Conversation About Being You! and Living The Dream: The Dot Richardson Story), and produced The Dot Richardson Instructional Video Tape/DVD library.
Richardson has worked as a television commentator for NBC’s coverage of the Athens Olympics in 2004 and helped cover numerous softball games, including the NCAA Softball College World Series, for ESPN.
Chancellor/President Jerry Falwell, Jr. on Richardson:
“I had the privilege of spending the better part of a day with Dot Richardson and her husband, Bob, during her on-campus interview. We discussed in detail her vision for Liberty Flames softball and for many other softball-related programs that could be created at Liberty. Her vision seemed to mesh perfectly with ours and I am thrilled that she will soon be Liberty’s new softball coach. She brings a wealth of experience and achievement that uniquely qualifies her to fulfill the vision for Liberty Flames softball.”
Director of Athletics Jeff Barber on Richardson:
“We are thrilled to announce Dr. Dot Richardson as our new softball head coach. Her experience as a collegiate and international player, as well as her understanding of the game is unparalleled. Additionally, Dot is a great Christian leader and motivator and will bring tremendous value to our softball program and the Liberty University community.”
Coach Dot Richardson on taking the head coaching position at Liberty:
“I am extremely excited and deeply humbled for the opportunity the Lord has presented to be a part of the Liberty family, as the head softball coach. The Liberty Way of ‘Training Champions for Christ’ speaks to my soul and defines the true definition of coaching and working with student-athletes. As the head coach for Liberty Softball, I can say without hesitation, that I and my staff are committed to serving others with the focus and goal to glorifying the Lord through the gifts and opportunities He has given each of us and our players. I invite all to follow and enjoy Liberty Flames softball and experience with us what the Lord has in store for building champions for Him both on and off the field.”
Ultimate College Softball has published a table (for which we are grateful)
School Former Coach New Coach Previous Position
Arizona State Clint Myers Craig Nicholson Ball State head coach
Auburn Tina Deese Clint Myers Arizona State head coach
Ball State Craig Nicholson
Bryant Lisa-Ann Wallace Shayne Lotito Boston College assistant
Buffalo Jennifer Teague Trena Peel Hampton head coach
Cleveland State Angie Nicholson
C of Charleston Shelly Hoerner
Eastern Illinois Kim Schuette Angie Nicholson Cleveland State head coach
Eastern Michigan Karen Baird
Georgia Tech Sharon Perkins Shelly Hoerner College of Charleston head coach
Hampton Trena Peel
Kennesaw State Scott Whitlock Wes Holly KSU associate head coach
Lafayette Meghan Asselta Michael Jexx Varner Kent State assistant
Liberty Paul Wetmore Dot Richardson Instructor/USA National Team legend
Montana N/A – new program
Niagara Ellie Chan Larry Puzan Niagara interim HC/assistant
North Carolina A&T Mamie Jones
North Texas T.J. Hubbard
Penn State Robin Petrini Amanda Lehotak UTSA head coach
Portland State Tobin Echo-Hawk
Purdue Kim Maher Kim Schuette Eastern Illinois head coach
Southern U. Nancy Marshall Lee Dobbins Emory assistant
Utah State Carissa Kalaba Steve Johnson Auburn assistant
Utah Valley Rachel Hartgrove Nikki Palmer Weber State assistant
UTEP K. & J. Rodriguez Tobin Echo-Hawk Portland State head coach
UTSA Amanda Lehotak
Virginia Eileen Schmidt Blake Miller Oregon assistant
Weber State Tina Johnson Mary Kay Amicone Salt Lake CC head coach