USA Softball Announces Members Of Women's National Team Coaching Pool

April 10, 2001

Oklahoma City, Okla. - The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) has announced the selection of twelve coaches to form the USA Softball Women's National Team Coaches Pool through the 2004 Olympic Games.

The selections represent some of the brightest minds in softball today. The coaches are Mike Candrea, Tucson, Ariz., Ken Eriksen, Tampa, Fla., Patti Gasso, Norman, Okla., Michele Gromacki, Fullerton, Calif., Karen Johns, Gainesville, Fla., Eugene Lenti, Chicago, Ill., Jay Miller, Columbia, Mo., Pat Murphy, Tuscaloosa, Ala., John Rittman, Palo Alto, Calif., Kirk Walker, Corvallis, Ore., Linda Wells, Tempe, Ariz., and Teresa Wilson, Seattle, Wash.

These twelve coaches will participate in the USA Softball Women's National Team Camp, May 30-June 3rd in Chula Vista, Calif., and will be eligible for selection to such important coaching assignments as the 2001 U.S. Cup in Hawaii, 2001 Canada Cup in Vancouver, the 2002 ISF Women's World Championship in Canada, the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

John Rittman enters his fifth season at the helm of the Stanford women's softball program after being named head coach in 1996. In his five years, Rittman has brought the Stanford softball program from a non-scholarship, club-level program, to a fully-funded championship contender.

A year ago, the Cardinal went 45-18 overall and earned a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Despite the fact that the Cardinal had never been nationally ranked prior to the 1998 season, Stanford spent every week of 2000 in the top 25, and set a single-season record with 45 victories. The Cardinal have won 40 or more games under Rittman for three consecutive seasons. Sophomore Jessica Mendoza earned Stanford's first Pac-10 Player of the Year selection in 2000 when she was tabbed for top honors.

Prior to being named head coach at Stanford, Rittman spent four seasons as the assistant coach at the University of Washington. With the Huskies, he was responsible for teaching the fundamentals of hitting, as well as defensive play. In just four seasons, the Husky team earned a No. 1 national ranking, the 1996 Pac-10 championship, three NCAA Tournament appearances and a second-place finish in its first College World Series appearance. Washington became the first team since Texas A&M in 1983 to advance to the championship game in its first appearance at the WCWS.

courtesy of USA Softball

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