Former assistant coach Monstrola hired as Seton Hill head softball coach
A familiar face will be returning to the Seton Hill dugout for the 2015 softball season.
After coaching as a volunteer assistant with the Griffins from 2005-07 before coaching at Pitt-Greensburg, Bill Monstrola returns to the Seton Hill bench after being tabbed as its head coach on July 1.
“I've always remained close with the university. Actually I've recruited players (from Pitt-Greensburg) that have gone there … so I'm familiar with a lot of the players. I'm familiar with a lot of the freshmen coming in,” Monstrola said. “I think they have a great foundation.”
Coaching at Pitt-Greensburg since 2008, including serving as the team's head coach for the last four years, Monstrola led the Bobcats to their best season in school history last year, a level of success he hopes to carry over to the Griffins' program.
“I just think it's constantly reinforcing the fundamentals, establishing some goals and meeting them on a regular basis,” he said. “They want to produce. You put that direction out there and you get them to buy into the program and what you're trying to accomplish, and success kind of generates itself.”
After wrapping up its inaugural season in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference with a 20-20 (10-18 PSAC West) record, Monstrola hopes to build on Seton Hill's 2014 campaign and guide the program to higher levels in its new conference.
“I feel our players can compete with anyone,” he said. “I expect to be successful, I know that they expect to be successful. Is it challenging? Absolutely, but every game's challenging against any team you play against.”
Monstrola said his team could add six freshmen to its roster, a unit that returns players such as All-PSAC West players Dani Treaster (P/OF), second baseman Lauren Sauerwein, Kaitlyn Kutchman (IF/P) and Christine Henderson (P/1B).
With the start of the season still months away, Monstrola's first order of business is to gain a rapport with his players and the athletic department.
“As with anything new, I'm going to make sure that I contact my players, my current players and touch base with the players coming in, work with the athletic department, just kind of get my feet wet in the academic side,” he said.
With a goal of making the PSAC playoffs in 2015, Monstrola also has other long-term goals for his players that extend beyond next season.
“My main goal, No. 1 is to make sure that they're successful academically, prepare them for a career outside of softball,” Monstrola said. “I want to make sure that I provide some good opportunities and good memories for them on the softball field. … I think if we do both of those, then as a head coach I've accomplished everything that I should.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.