USA SOFTBALL ANNOUNCES NINE-MEMBER NATIONAL COACHING POOL
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) has
announced the selection of nine coaches to form the USA Softball National Team
Coaches Pool through the 2000 Olympic Games.
The selections represent a wide range of experience and include Roger Dawes,
Redding, Calif.; Margo Jonker, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.; Jay Miller, Columbia, Mo.;
Ralph Raymond, Worcester, Mass.; Mona Stevens, Provo, Utah; Shirley Topley,
Anaheim, Calif.; Ralph Weekly, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Teresa Wilson, Seattle,
Wash. and Margie Wright, Fresno, Calif.
Dawes has extensive national and international coaching experience including as
head coach of the three-time (1993, 1994, 1995) ASA Women's Major National
Champion Redding Rebels. Since his debut as head coach in 1978, the Rebels have
never finished out of the top ten nationally including top three finishes for
the last nine seasons. Dawes has coached nine players from the 1996 USA
Softball gold medal team, four ASA National Championship MVP's, four Bertha
Tickey (Best Pitcher) award winners and two Erv Lind (Best DefensivePlayer)
Internationally, Dawes has led the Rebels to three Canada Cup championships and
was an assistant coach on the USA Softball gold medal winning ISF World
Championship team in 1990. He has also served as head coach of USA teams at the
Challenge Cup in 1986 and the South Pacific Classic in 1988.
Jonker, as head softball coach at the University of Central Michigan since
1979, has won eight Mid-America Conference titles and has been named conference
Coach of the Year seven times. In 1987, Jonker led Central Michigan to the NCAA
Mideast Regionals title, finished fifth at the NCAA Women's College World
Series (WCWS) and was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year.
During her tenure, Jonker has coached five NCAA All-Americans, 13 All-Region
players, 30 All-Conference and 16 Academic All-Conference selections.
Miller, as head softball coach at the University of Missouri, has estabished a
338-162 record in nine years, including appearances at the 1991 and 1994 WCWS.
Missouri, under Miller's direction, has participated in NCAA Regional
Tournaments in 1991, 1994 and 1995, winning regional titles in 1991 and 1994.
He has received numerous coaching awards including NCAA Midwest Regional Coach
of the Year in 1994 and Big-8 Conference Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1991. He
also received the GTE Coaches Academic Enhancement Award in 1996.
Miller is recognized as one of softball's top instructors and has conducted
clinics around the world including stops in France, Malaysia, Czechoslovakia,
Netherlands, Netherland Antilles and Italy.
Miller also served on the USA Softball National Team Selection committee that
selected the 1996 Olympic gold medalist USA team in 1996.
Raymond's distinguished coaching career has taken him around the world and to
the medal stand at the 1996 Olympic Games where he served as head coach of the
USA team that won a gold medal at softball's Olympic debut. Raymond's record
nationally and internationally is legendary including 19 National Championship
titles as head coach of the Raybestos Brakettes and a 74-0 record in ISF World
Championship competition. Raymond has brought home gold at ISF World
Championships in 1974, 1978, 1986, 1990 and 1994.
Raymond's career record with the Brakettes is 1,836-134 and 114-2
internationally. Collectively, Raymond has coached USA teams to 17-gold medals
during his career. He is also a popular instructor and has conducted clinics in
Italy, Holland, Belgium South America, Chinese Taipei and the United States.
Stevens distinguished herself in 1997 by leading a young USA Softball Women's
National Team to the gold medal at the Pan American Games Qualifier in
Medellin, Columbia. The USA's 12-1 performance included shutout wins in all but
two games as the USA outscored their opponents collectively 114-6. Her efforts
helped earn her recognition as the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC)
Coach of the Year in softball in 1997.
In Stevens first year as head softball coach at the University of Utah, she
compiled a 44-18 record. Prior to Utah, Stevens was the associate head coach at
the University of Massachusetts where she helped UMass reach the WCWS and win
the Atlantic-10 Conference season and tournament championships. Stevens' record
at UMass was 78-37-1 (.663). Stevens is also a popular clinician and
participates regularly as a lead instructor at National Coaching Schools
conducted by the ASA.
Topley has been playing or coaching at the international level since 1970 and
was a member of the 1970 team that won the silver medal at the ISF Women's
World Championshhip in Osaka, Japan. Twenty years after winning the gold medal
as a player, Topley returned as an assistant coach for the USA Softball team
that won the gold medal at the 1990 ISF Women's World Championship.
Topley also served as head coach for the gold medal USA team at the 1991 Pan
American Games and as an assistant at the 1993 Intercontinental Cup in Holland,
the 1994 South Pacific Classic in Australia, the 1995 Pan American Games in
Argentina and the 1996 Olympic Games.
Weekly has become a veteran of international competition leading the USA to
gold medals at the 1995 Pan American Games Qualifier in Guatemala, the 1995 Pan
American Games in Argentina and the 1996 Olympic Games.
In 1995, Weekly became the head softball coach at the University of
Tennessee-Chattanooga, leading them to a share of the conference title his
first season. Weekly has been in the college coaching ranks since 1986, winning
NAIA national titles in 1988 and 1992 at Pacific Lutheran University.
While at Pacific, Weekly was named NAIA National Coach of the Year eight times.
Weekly's college coaching record is 350-118 (.748).
Weekly is among the nation's most popular hitting coaches and has conducted
numerous clinics nationally and internationally and has provided skills
instruction to some of the top players in the game including members of the
1996 USA Softball Women's National Team that won the gold medal at the 1996
Wilson has distinguished herself as one of the nation's top collegiate coaches
by leading a start-up University of Washington program to national prominence
with 1996 and 1997 appearances at the WCWS. In 1996, Wilson led Washington to a
runner-up finish at the WCWS in only the fourth year of the program's
existence, capturing the Pac-10 Conference title and Pac-10 Coach of the Year
honors in the process. Washington tied for third at the WCWS in 1997. Wilson's
career record at Washington is 236-100 (.702).
Prior to Washington, Wilson coached at the University of Minnesota and led the
team to the Big-10 Conference title in 1991 and was honored as conference Coach
of the Year. In 1989, Wilson coached the University of Oregon to a fifth place
finish at the WCWS and was named NCAA Northwest Region and Pac-10 Coach of the
Year for her efforts.
After 11 seasons as head softball coach at Fresno State University, Wright
ranks among the nation's all-time most successful coaches with a career record
of 715-255-3 (.736). Wright has guided Fresno State to the WCWS in seven of the
last ten seasons and captured seven regional championship titles. Under her
direction, Fresno State has finished second three times at the WCWS and won
eight conference titles.
In 1996, Wright had a milestone year serving as an assistant coach on the 1996
U.S. Olympic softball team, leading Fresno State to the Western Athletic
Conference (WAC) title and being named WAC and NCAA West Region Coach of the
Wright also led the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team to a gold medal
at the 1995 ISF Junior Women's World Championship and was an assistant coach
for the USA Softball Women's National Teams that won the gold medal at the ISF
World Championship in 1994 and Superball `95 in Columbus, Geo.
The nine coaches will be eligible for selection to such important coaching
assignments as the 1998 South Pacific Classic in New Zealand, the 1998 ISF
Women's World Championship in Japan, the 1999 Pan American Games in Canada and
the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.