I think the retirement of Jeanne Scarpello shocked a lot of Maverick faithful last week. It was pretty unexpected considering the Mavericks just got through transition and have a bright future in softball, but per the release is stepping away to spend more time with family and you have to respect that. Coaching softball takes up an incredible amount of my wife’s time and she is only coaching a few months of the year and not having to do all of the recruiting, off season work outs, and fall ball. Well high school softball in Nebraska is played in the fall, but you get the idea.
I am not sure if Cory Petermann (I just realized that I want to scream “HEY PETER-MAN (Office Space),” will be able to be promoted to head coach or not. I really hope that if a new coach is hired that they keep Petermann on the staff. He’s been with the Mavericks for so long and has done so much to make the softball program one of the most successful athletic programs (that is still competing).
I’m not sure about other Mav fans feel, but I am fully confident in the hiring abilities of Trev Alberts and staff. Dean Blais has taken Hockey to the Frozen Four. Jason Mims built a program from scratch, his team was ranked in the top 25 for a short while in just the program’s 5th year of existing, and his recruits seem to get better and better each and every single season…which is actually to be expected, but still, it could have ended up much worse. Chance Lindley was doing a stellar job with the women’s basketball team before unexpectedly in something that was just odd. Alberts dropped the interim tag off of Brittany Lange, who is really kind of quietly building that basketball program into a competitor and gets better and better every year. They’re going to be competing in the preseason WNIT in 2016 and they’re starting out at Colorado State, and that team could beat really Colorado State, who made the 2016 NCAA tournament, and possibly face off against Washington in the second round. Excuse me, I have to go make make sure all of my bills get paid by my SouthWest Airlines Chase card so I can secure enough points for a free flight to Seattle in November…
Anyway, the Mavericks are looking for a softball coach. I am sure that the process has already started, and we should hear who the newest head coach to Maverick athletics is in the coming weeks, but here are a list of random names that could be out there as potential candidates. Do I have any business throwing out any names or have any insider info for this? Certainly, no. But when a football program like USC (which sucks) is looking for a new coach, some idiot online lists off a bunch of names that where only half of the list is actually being considered by USC and another portion of the list may just want to hear what USC has to say. It’s just something kind of fun to talk about and contemplate as fans.
I’m content with being the idiot here. Whatever coach does take over softball at UNO is getting a program that will be returning four All Conference players, and a part of an improving athletic department that is in the middle of upgrading their facilities and has mentioned the potential of a new softball (and baseball) stadium.
Tony Baldwin – Georgia Assistant
I’ve listed Baldwin here for no real reason for other than that I may have been Georgia’s Good Luck Guy. It’s not a responsibility that I wanted, but it just happened. Whenever I caught a Georgia softball game on ESPN3, or actual television, they completely dominated their opponent. The Bulldogs were up 3-1 on Auburn when I was watching in the Women’s College World Series, and then I went for a walk and they ended up losing 3-4.
Baldwin is originally from the state of Indiana and played college baseball at Butler. He has spent 2 season as an assistant at Georgia, he was an assistant baseball coach at Michigan State before taking on the job at Georgia. He was mostly responsible for hitting and infielding for the Bulldogs, and in his first season at Georgia the team was 13th in the nation in batting average at .343, and they scored over 7 runs a game.
Jimmy Kolaitis – Oregon Assistant
Seriously, I have no business compiling this list.
Omaha is probably a far stretch for a guy that is an an assistant softball coach in the PAC 12, but going from a big name program to head coaching at a smaller program all to get a job as a head coach at a big name program again seems to be a likely road for many coaches.
Kolaitis was an assistant coach at South Alabama before taking the job at Oregon. While at Oregon he has been in charge of coaching hitting, and the Ducks have one of the better offenses in college softball. My wife is a huge Oregon Duck fan (seriously, this list is so biased) so I had to watch a number of Oregon softball games over the last 2 years, and their hitting is…dare I say it…”sick.” Last season they had 8 of the 9 players in their lineup hitting above .300, which is “sick.”
Diane Miller – Nebraska Assistant
Miller has been an assistant for the Huskers since 2008, after coaching at Colorado State and has been primarily in charge of coaching hitting and the catchers. With slight uncertainty where the Mavericks are going at the Catcher position after 4 years of Campbell Ditto behind the plate, it would be beneficial having Miller coach up catchers, especially in the beginning.
Miller has coached the Huskers to break more than 30 offensive records since becoming an assistant at Nebraska. In her time in Lincoln, the Huskers have hit at an average of .295, which is right around where the Mavericks were this last season. The chance to become a head coach, coach up a team that already has strong hitting, and develop a young team at an already successful program could be a huge attraction to Miller.
Ranae Sinkler – Creighton Assistant
Maybe this would help the relations between the Creighton and UNO program, who have still yet to face off since the Mavericks made the transition. Sinkler is a Lincoln-native and currently works with hitters and infielders at Creighton, and while she was a player for the Bluejays she won the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year award in two separate seasons.
She graduated from Creighton in 2011 and has only been coaching for a few years, so she does not have a ton of experience. She could continue to help the Mavericks recruit some of the better players out of the state of Nebraska. This year Creighton had a fielding percentage of .961 and the Mavericks were at .956.
Still, UNO might be a difficult sell to anyone who has been involved with the one program, let alone Creighton, since their freshman year in college.
Jamie Trachsel – North Dakota State Co-Head Coach (Already took job at Iowa State)
So I was going to list Trachsel as a far fetch, but seriously why does North Dakota State need two coaches? Trachsel took the job at Iowa State last week, and she was in charge of defense, recruiting, and scouting while with the Bison. The Bison were first in the Summit in fielding percentage this season, and North Dakota’s roster is filled with players from the hot recruiting bed of softball we know as the state of California. Maybe the Bison’s defense and recruiting will take a slight drop and open up the gates for Omaha and the rest of the Summit League to compete for conference championships again.
If you’re wondering about Iowa State softball: they finished the season at 20-35 and lost to UNO, Creighton, Northern Iowa, and Drake to name a few.
Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler – former Iowa State head coach
Iowa State didn’t renew her contract after going 20-35 in 2016 and had an overall losing record with the Cyclones in her 11 seasons in Ames. She really helped the team improve their hitting in the beginning, and I really cannot imagine how hard it is to recruit softball players to play in Ames against the Big 12 competition. Her players did well in the classroom with over 70 players make All Big 12 Academic teams in 11 seasons, and I know that is something that UNO Athletics would love. Gemeinhardt-Cesler, which looks difficult to pronounce, was 153-76 in four seasons at the Division 2 level as a head coach, so maybe The Summit League is a more appropriate level for her than the Big 12.