Author Archives: Rayburn

9-18-2017 Assistant Coach of Year

Lombardi Named NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year

 

NORMAN – Oklahoma softball associate head coach Melyssa Lombardi has been named the 2017 Easton/NFCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced Monday afternoon.

The 2017 season marked the 20th for Lombardi as pitching coach for the Sooners and featured one of the deepest staffs in program history. Three pitchers threw at least 100 innings and all five members of the staff had ERAs at 2.08 or lower. The staff ERA was 1.55 on the season with 510 strikeouts (fourth most in program history) in 482.2 innings and an opponents’ average of .177 (eighth lowest at OU).

Paige Parker continued her career with another All-American season and her third straight season being named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year after posting the lowest ERA (1.43) and best strikeout rate (8.72 per 7 IP) of her career. She posted a 26-5 record with six shutouts while holding opponents to a .179 average in a team-high 210.1 innings.

Junior Paige Lowary transferred from Missouri and was named an All-Big 12 First Team honoree as she emerged as a dominant relief pitcher. With 11 saves on the year, Lowary had more than any team previously recorded in OU history and she tied for fifth in NCAA single-season records. In 146.2 innings, Lowary went 16-3 on the season with 122 strikeouts to just 33 walks with an opponents’ average of .163.

Freshman Mariah Lopez went 18-1 on the season with 109 strikeouts in 101 innings and threw a no-hitter. Fellow freshmen Nicole Mendes and Melanie Olmos rounded out the staff by giving up just two runs in 24.2 combined innings.

Earlier this season, Lombardi was part of the NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year along with head coach Patty Gasso, assistant coach J.T. Gasso and volunteer assistant coach Andrea Gasso.

During her tenure, the Sooners have won the 2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017 National Championships and have won 16 NCAA Regional Championships in 20 postseason appearances. In addition, the Sooners have claimed nine Big 12 regular season titles and four conference tournament championships.

As a member of the Sooners’ coaching staff, Lombardi has been a part of four NFCA National Coaching Staffs of the Year (including each of the last two seasons) and 10 Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year (including each of the last six seasons).

The winners of the NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year awards were nominated by their NFCA member head coach and selected by a panel of their peers on the NFCA Awards Committee.

9-16-2017 Auburn Hires Mickey Dean as Softball Coach

 

Auburn hires James Madison’s Mickey Dean as new softball coach

James Madision head coach Mickey Dean has been hired as Auburn’s new softball coach.
James Madision head coach Mickey Dean has been hired as Auburn’s new softball coach.(Vasha Hunt/vhunt@al.com)
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Auburn has hired James Madison’s Mickey Dean to be its next softball coach.

Dean went 237-56 in his five years at JMU, including 2-1 against Auburn, and has coached seven NCAA Tournament teams with one NCAA Super Regional appearance and won nine conference titles in his career.

“Coach Dean’s accomplishments at JMU are remarkable,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. “He’s won consistently at every level throughout his career. He’s done it the right way, winning with class and integrity while graduating his student-athletes at a high level. Auburn already has a winning program and we’re going to get even better. He’s a great fit for Auburn.”

Dean replaces Clint Myers, who the school announced “retired” on Aug. 23 but Jacobs later said was guilty of “wrongdoing” amid allegations of abuse and harassment under his watch by his son and former associate head coach Corey Myers, who “resigned” in March.

Dean coached five 40-win seasons, including the final two with 52 and 50 victories, and broke 104 program records at JMU, including over 40 pitching records while boasting one of the nation’s top pitching staffs. He’s coached seven all-Americans, including 2017 National Player of the Year, Megan Good, and been named conference coach of the year eight times during his career.

“It is an honor to be named the leader of the Auburn softball program,” Dean said in a statement. “I want to thank President Leath, Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs and the Board of Trustees for the exciting opportunity to lead this program.

“The future is bright for Auburn softball. We want the fans to be as excited as we are to come out and watch the program represent them in the highest standing.”

Prior to his time at JMU, Dean coached Radford for five seasons and served as an assistant coach at Akron (2001-02), Indiana (2002-04) and Longwood (2005-06). He was also the pitching coach for the Venezuelan National Team (2002-08) and the head coach for the Chicago Bandits (2004-10) that finished as the National Pro Fastpitch regular season champions five times and won the title in 2008.

Dean is a 1987 graduate of Elon University, where he was a pitcher on the baseball team.

9-16-2017 Olympics in London and Paris

LIMA, Peru – The International Olympic Committee has selected Los Angeles as the Host City of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, returning the Summer Games to the United States for the first time since Atlanta 1996. The City of Angels will be hosting the Olympics for the third time (1932, 1984, 2028) and the Paralympics for the first time.

At the IOC Session in Lima, IOC members unanimously voted to ratify a tripartite agreement between the IOC and the cities of LA and Paris, with the 2024 Games going to Paris and 2028 Games to LA. The agreement follows the IOC members’ unanimous approval at the July 2017 Extraordinary IOC Session for the simultaneous election of the host cities of the 2024 and 2028 Games.

In its final presentation to the IOC today, LA 2028 highlighted the City of Angels’ plan to create a New Games for a New Era by harnessing LA’s unparalleled creative, storytelling assets to deliver the world’s greatest sporting event in a low-risk, fiscally responsible and sustainable way.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said: “This is a momentous day for the people of Los Angeles and the United States. For the first time in a generation, we are bringing the Games back to the City of Angels. LA loves the OIympics because the Games have lifted up our city twice before. But to us the Games have always represented an even brighter future and the chance to harness the power of sport and the Olympic Movement again to inspire the next generation – for the next 11 years and beyond.”

LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman said: “This 11-year agreement with the IOC is the ultimate validation of LA 2028’s New Games for a New Era, and Los Angeles’ vision for the future. As a team and as a city, we could not be more excited to be entering into this long-term partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and with one of the great cities of the world, Paris. This will be an extraordinary collaboration that secures the future of the Movement for generations. Now LA 2028 has a golden opportunity, with four more years to prepare and a $2 billion contribution from the IOC, to redefine how hosting the Games can benefit host communities.”

United States Olympic Committee Chairman and U.S. IOC Member Larry Probst said: “Today is one of the most significant days in the history of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements – and it’s one we’ve been waiting to celebrate for many years. Los Angeles’ Games plan is second to none and will have a far-reaching impact domestically and abroad. This visionary dual award will no doubt provide an era of unprecedented strength and stability for the global Olympic and Paralympic movements, and the LA Games will absolutely fulfill their promise of being a New Games for a New Era.”

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said: “A Games on home soil is an extremely special opportunity that will allow us to grow and serve the Olympic and Paralympic movements for decades to come. We couldn’t have found a better partner than Los Angeles to give a new generation of American athletes and fans the experience of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I look forward to seeing the innovation, imagination and sustainability Los Angeles will use over the next 11 years to create and deliver something truly magical.”

Los Angeles and the USOC jointly launched the LA bid on Sept. 1, 2015, and shifted the candidature from 2024 to 2028 on July 31, 2017, after coming to terms with the IOC. Under the revised Host City Contract, LA 2028 is able to invest up to $160 million to increase youth sports access and participation in Los Angeles in the years leading up to the Games. The new Host City Contract will also provide LA 2028 with an 80 percent share of any Games surplus and an IOC contribution of $2 billion. In August, the LA City Council and USOC board approved the updated agreement.

The bid has been overwhelmingly supported in the city of Los Angeles, the state of California and throughout the entire United States.

U.S. IOC Executive Board Member and LA 2028 Senior Advisor for Legacy Anita DeFrantz said: “I couldn’t be more proud that my beloved city will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028. The Olympic Games are intimately woven into the history of this ever-evolving city – it is part of what defines us. Just as we reimagine ourselves and our stories daily, we are ready to redefine the Games once again, not only for our own benefit, but for the prosperity of this critically important movement. These Games will build on the legacy that began in 1932 and was cemented in 1984, and will touch the lives of Angelenos and Americans for decades to come.”

U.S. IOC Executive Board Member and LA 2028 Chief Strategy Officer Angela Ruggiero said: “Los Angeles has always been a committed partner to the Olympic and Paralympic movements. This city – which played a critical role in my Olympic journey – is home to some of the world’s most creative, athletic and innovative people. Our diversity is our strength, and LA is uniquely and perfectly suited to welcome the world with open arms once again. It is an amazing and defining honor for a city to host the Games, and Los Angeles stands ready to surpass all expectations in 2028.”

9-16-2017 YWCA Honors Karen Weekly

YWCA SPOTLIGHTS KAREN WEEKLY AT ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO WOMEN

By Coy Gill, UTsports.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The YWCA honored Tennessee softball co-head coach Karen Weekly as one of the finalists for the Arts and Education Award in the 33rd annual Tribute to Women Thursday night at the Bijou Theatre.

Weekly was one of four women celebrated. The YWCA selected Weekly for her competitive drive and her desire to place the well-being of her student-athletes before winning games. This past season, Weekly also reached the 1,000-career win milestone, becoming only the 33rd Division I coach to accomplish the feat in any sport – and the third at Tennessee. Weekly joined her husband and co-head coach Ralph Weekly and legendary former women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt in that rarified air.

The YWCA Tribute to Women has been honoring distinguished women from the greater Knoxville area since 1985. Since 1899, the YWCA has existed as a force to empower women and eliminate racism.

Five awards were given out at the event. Gibbs Middle School principal Cindy White won of the of Arts and Education Award. Leslye Hartsell, the manager of Communications and Community Relations at Knoxville Utilities Board, won the Business and Professional Leadership Award. Dr. Alice Mercer, one of the founders of the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, won the Community Service and Government Award. Dr. Smita Borole, the head dentist at DentalWorks, won the Health and Human Services Award. Clarice Phelps, a researcher/program manager for industrial use isotopes at ORNL, won the Technology, Research, Innovation Award.

9-16-2017 USA Softball Coaching Pool

USA Softball reopens application period for 2018-19 Women’s National Team Coaching Pool

 

OKLAHOMA CITY  —   USA Softball, the National Governing Body for Softball in the United States, announced today it has reopened the application process for the 2018-19 USA Softball Women’s National Team Coaching Pool and is accepting applications from fast pitch coaches now through October 6, 2017. The coaching pool includes coaches for the Junior Women’s National Team and the Women’s National Team.

 

The USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Committee will select coaches for the coaching pool.  Pool coaches may be required to participate in international competition, player evaluations, selection camps and other specified events as part of the evaluation process. These events primarily occur in the months of June, July, August, September and November each year. Coaches will work under the direction of the USA Softball Director of National Teams Chris Sebren.

 

Pool coaches may be eligible for selection as a member of the National Team Coaching Staff for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This staff will be selected by the Women’s National Team Selection Committee in accordance with procedures to be approved by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

 

The schedule for the Women’s National Team and Junior Women’s National Team has yet to be finalized for the 2018-19 cycle, but those international calendars will be highlighted by the 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship to be held in Chiba, Japan, the 2019 Pan American Games to be held in Lima, Peru and the 2019 WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship in Irvine, Calif.

 

To be considered as a candidate for the pool, please e-mail a letter of application and resume to arrive no later than October 6, 2017, which must include:

 

             – National coaching and/or playing experience

 

             – International coaching and/or playing experience

 

             – Clinic and/or speaking experience

 

             – Reasons you would like to be a member of the Women’s National Team Coaching Pool

 

             – Please indicate if you are interested in a head coaching job, assistant coaching job or both

Please send letter of application and resume via email to:

 

Chris Sebren
Director of USA Softball National Teams
USA Softball

csebren@usasoftball.com

405-425-3432

 

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.

 

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.

About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland — the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 213 National Federation and Associate Members in 142 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 

 

The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women’s).

 

For more information, visit: www.wbsc.org