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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coaching Changes, Part 2

Yesterday, we looked at some major head coaching moves, and today we're gonna look at the invaluable assistants that provide excellent instruction and make the head coach's job much easier.

Again, you can find the complete list of changes and moves by following this link. Today, we're going to specifically focus on eight assistant coaches who are either wearing new colors this season or are stepping into the coaches box for the first time.


 MAGGIE HULL-TIETZ ~~ BAKER
<<< An All-American player, Maggie spent last summer in the NPF and with the playing experience she had, both collegiately and professionally, as well as her excellent academic achievements (she was a three-time Academic all-conference three years in a row), she's going to be an invaluable resource and addition to the Baker program. Hull has the wisdom and insight that's imperative for a good coach, and having begun her career in the dugout so swiftly following her own playing career, she's already set herself on a good track.


 JORDAN TAYLOR ~~ BOSTON
<<< Another collegiate star and professional player who is enjoying her first official coaching "gig", Taylor joins Kathryn Gleason's staff fresh off of her first full NPF campaign and several split seasons in the Orient. An All-American during her time in Ann Arbor, her guidance will be of great benefit to the Terrier pitchers. Their statistics were fairly solid last season, and Taylor's tutelage can only firm-up those numbers.
 SAMANTHA MARDER ~~ COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
<<< Marder left a position at Boise State to work under her own former head coach, Linda Kalafatis, at CofC. Marder has been a mainstay on the professional softball scene for years, and was the league's Offensive Player of the Year in 2012. I don't know about y'all, but that sounds like somebody I'd want to be coaching my team's hitters! 
 JESSICA BACHKORA ~~ KENT STATE
<<< Following a one-year stint as assistant coach at Auburn, Bachkora followed Tina Deese out the door after the 2013 campaign. She found employment at KSU; while it's definitely a step down from her previous position, I think it's a good move for the former Arkansas star. It gives her the opportunity to get some coaching experience under her belt, while not having to deal with the pressure that comes along with a major conference like the SEC. When (not if) the Golden Flashes show progress thanks to Bachkora, don't be surprised if she's the front runner for another big-name job in maybe just two or three years.



 NICOLE HUDSON ~~ MSSU
<<< After a summer of making her name synonymous with the new and re-energized Team USA, Hudson finished her degree and headed to MSSU to man the first-base box. One of the best pure hitters I had the opportunity to see in the last few years, Hudson brings a wealth of knowledge about all different aspects of the game (don't forget, she pitches, too!) to the table, and MSSU is better off for having her around!
 JIMMY KOLAITIS ~~ OREGON
<<< In the PAC-12 Forecast, I called Kolaitis "one of the best coaches in the nation" and lauded Mike White's hiring of him. That is most definitely still the case. In addition to his on-field abilities as a coach, he is an excellent recruiter and is arguably the biggest reason the South Alabama program reached the level they did last season. With the Ducks name and success going with him, Kolaitis' recruiting may even be *more* successful and trust me when I tell you that he'll be at the top of a lot of wish lists for a head coaching job sooner rather than later.


CHELSEA THOMAS ~~ SAINT LOUIS
<<< Thomas stayed close to home as she accepted her first coaching position, signing on to serve as a volunteer assistant at Saint Louis. She joined the coaching staff at the same time as her former Mizzou teammate Ashley Fleming, and the combination of the All-star duo of former Tigers will pay huge dividends. Even with an unofficial official title, just having Thomas in the dugout will be a help, as she'll be able to provide valuable and reliable expertise.

ANGELA TINCHER O'BRIEN ~~ VIRGINIA TECH
<<< This move was so surprising and ridiculously awesome, I even put up a stand-alone article all about just this hiring. (Shameless plug). At that time, I said that it might be the hire of the off-season. There are a few that might rival it, but I'm comfortable reiterating that statement. One of the best pitchers to ever play college ball, she's an excellent replacement for Barb Sherwood as the Hokies pitching instructor. Sherwood put together a solid pitching staff and I don't think there will be much, if any, of a learning curve for the players with Tincher now leading them.

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