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NewXbo

Softball shakeup

It appears that there will be a coaching change in this year's staff. It started with the firing of Rhode Island head coach Erin Layton. She was replaced by Bridget Hurlman in mid July. Sources are now saying that Lafayette's only assistant coach Mary Holt has accepted the assistant job at Rhode Island.

Ironically, our last softball coach Megan Asselta was fired by Rhode Island before landing here as the head coach. She was fired after a couple of years by Lafayette and refused to leave her housing until the end of the semester.

This leaves us with a head coach and two "consultants".

I still find it bizarre that the AD can't hire the coach(s). He is responsible for the athletic program, isn't he?
carney2

Exactly what does our AD do?  

Really.  What does he do?
Franks Tanks

Re: Softball shakeup

NewXbo wrote:
It appears that there will be a coaching change in this year's staff. It started with the firing of Rhode Island head coach Erin Layton. She was replaced by Bridget Hurlman in mid July. Sources are now saying that Lafayette's only assistant coach Mary Holt has accepted the assistant job at Rhode Island.

Ironically, our last softball coach Megan Asselta was fired by Rhode Island before landing here as the head coach. She was fired after a couple of years by Lafayette and refused to leave her housing until the end of the semester.

This leaves us with a head coach and two "consultants".

I still find it bizarre that the AD can't hire the coach(s). He is responsible for the athletic program, isn't he?


Not sure I understand.  Wouldn't the head coach hire her own assistants?
Pard Newbie

Not sure what the AD or the coach are doing but let's just say birds of a feather crash together.  The coach seems to have little grasp of some essential elements of the game and he is backed up by the AD who knows nothing. I guess the only assistant sees the writing on the wall and wants to jump before the rowboat goes under.  Well now the coach does not have to worry about anyone recognizing his lack of ability unless you count the part time "consultants".

It is a shame since he appeared to gather some talent on the diamond but again if it is a rudderless ship with little game knowledge then failure is ordained.  After watching the same coaching mistakes being made each and every game then the sooner a change occurs the better......and I was the one asking to give him a chance about 2 years ago.  In 2 years of seeing him coach I see the same coaching mistake made by 14 and under coaches, but at least those coaches learn.
LC Fan

How about some specifics rather than generalized condemnation?
NewXbo

LC Fan wrote:
How about some specifics rather than generalized condemnation?


Well here are some statistics (you can find them on goleopards.com):

 Record 4-7 overall  1-17 league

Offense
 Team BA .218, Opp .353
 HR  5, Opp 32
 RBI 64 Opp.252
 OB% .275 Opp .420
 SB 18 Opp 29

Pitching
 ERA 6.57 Opp 1.46
 Walks 120 Opp 65

I do give him credit for dumping the troublemakers he inherited.

The recruiting has not been good, we have a lot of small players, no stud pitching, no power hitters.

I've been told that there are 2 scholarships and by someone else 4 scholarships. You need to spend one every two years for a stud pitcher (see Lehigh softball).

I saw a game last season, little popup down the first base line. The 1B, C, & P all went for the ball. No one called for it, no one caught it. Nothing was said to the players after the play. That's a situation play that you work on in practice, (who goes for it determined by score, innings, out, other runners, etc.). As a coach you need to define every possible situation and practice it.

As far as the assistant coach leaving for Rhode Island, maybe he saw a sinking ship, maybe a better pay day, she's also from Rhode Island. She was also being recruited By Kent State (where she played) and was their second choice if their first choice doesn't take the job.

So it looks like she saw a sinking ship in an underfunded program.

Now, as Carney would say, "you're turn"
Pard Newbie

In response to LC Fan and to add to NewXbo's response, here are observations from different games throughout the season that I attended.  

The inability of the team to get a bunt down in numerous situations just boggles my mind as it is one of the most used, least practiced and essential skills of the softball world.  He was a kind of baseball coach and needs to adapt to the style of play demanded in softball especially with a small team dependant on small ball skills (just watch BU or Bucknell sometime). Not using his speed and skills in the proper spots in the linup and pretending it is a baseball lineup, well it is not. I watched them not hitting a cutoff properly on numerous occassions and thereby putting opposing runners in scoring position; this killed them and thereby puts your pitcher at a huge disadvantage.  Watching the coach put a pinch runner in with one and two outs for a slow runner when the opportuntiy to put the PR in with no outs was there; huge disadvantage in softball and wasting opportunities that occurred frequently.

These are not all inclusive by any means but are examples of the lack of coaching and demanding the basic skills set of players while at the same time not fully understanding the softball tactics.  Watch how Lehigh is schooled in the fundamentals and how the entire team is held accountable. They have the same academic requirements and the same scholarships as LC but the difference is a coach who knows how to recruit and how to coach.  

I wish Varner luck but expect more of the same as many of these are strategic choices and basic skills that if not learned or understood by now will likely never be there.
bison137

Pard Newbie wrote:
 Watch how Lehigh is schooled in the fundamentals and how the entire team is held accountable. They have the same academic requirements and the same scholarships as LC but the difference is a coach who knows how to recruit and how to coach.  




Not to make excuses, but based on the most recent available data, LU was spending a lot more on softball scholarships than LC.   And that has been the case for years.  Over the years, LU has been the biggest spender with Colgate second.  However, Boston U spends a lot more on scholarships than does any traditional PL school.

Having said that, I don't think the disparity in spending is great enough to justify the disparity in results.
NewXbo

I believe that Lehigh has the maximum amount of scholarships allowed by the NCAA.
localleop

A wise softball coach once said 'girls have to feel good to play good'! It's statistically impossible that our Laf players are the poorest in the Patriot League. Unfortunately, Varner promotes discourse and distrust.  His 'leadership' style is autocratic and flat out mean.  He has no idea how to get the best out of what he has.  Most of these girls are decent players with glowing records from where they came.  Not sure he knows much about the game based on his decisions and practice drills.  And what leadership he did have on the team he managed to alienate and dismiss.  Furthermore, what little financial fundraising (24K) the team managed a few years ago has gone to nearly zero under his reign. Doesn't acknowledge the parents all season! Inexcusable. Even the assistant coaches move on quickly since their input is ignored.  So sad!
seenalot

Lets assume even 50% of what you say about people skills are correct he has lost his team.  And certainly the more objective lack of coaching knowledge seems to be the consensus of those far more informed on it than I .  So, back to Carney's point - what exactly does Bruce do.....?
NewXbo

Apparently we have a new assistant softball coach, Jessica Bump. She is listed as an assistant on the GoLeopards website but when you click on her picture, you get Mary Holts bio?????

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