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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

When Coaches Speak: Pete D'Amour

(When Coaches Speak is a series of articles where active coaches will give their thoughts on their own teams, as well as current happenings in the game and offer thoughts on their peers, always in their own words.)

Pete D'Amour
Photo via KSU Athletics
Fresh off a lengthy tenure as an assistant coach at Missouri, a time during which he was part of some of the Tigers' most incredible successes, Pete D'Amour joined Kennesaw State in a late-offseason move as the program's new head coach.

"Obviously, the weather is a big [factor] for me," D'Amour said, listing some of his reasons for accepting the Owls coaching position. "With weather comes the fertile recruiting ground of Atlanta and Georgia as a whole is a hotbed for softball now... I met with the administration [and] I felt like they had my back. That was really important for me to have an administrator, especially athletic directors that have actually played college sports. It's a big deal for me."

After a tumultuous offseason, one might expect that D'Amour "got out of dodge". That wasn't the case: "I think there have been some misconceptions that I was just dying to get out of where I was," he said. "That really is not the case... it was just time to go. I'm thankful for my time there, but I was just ready to do my own thing. I've described this job [at Kennesaw State] as a power five job at a mid-major conference. All the resources here, I've got everything that I need."

A bonafide superstar in the recruiting business, D'Amour's philosophy is a simple one. "What we're going to do is make the kids better, develop them as players, and develop them as people," he says. "That's one [thing that] I am really trying to enforce now and impress upon these kids."

Before his inaugural season even begins, D'Amour has seen success during his tenure - after hitting eighteen home runs throughout the whole course of the 2016 season, D'Amour's Owls hit twenty-four long balls in the last four games of the fall season alone. "There is improvement going on," D'Amour said.

D'Amour has filled out his coaching staff with two folks who share his Tiger ties - assistant coach Alyssa Cousins played for D'Amour and Ehren Earleywine at Missouri, while Doug Gillis, the new Owls pitching coach, served in a similar capacity with Mizzou for several seasons.

"I love it here and we can win here," D'Amour says. "This is a good place to be."

The Owls kick off their 2017 season against Saint Louis at their own-hosted Phyllis Rafter Memorial tournament this weekend.

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