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2021 Softball Schedule & Season Discussion Thread


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As I said in the other thread, I can’t help but think now that Lauren LaPorte was the “man behind the curtain” so to speak of JMU. I think Dean was a pretty good recruiter but they sure aren’t missing him.

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2 hours ago, blakem said:

As I said in the other thread, I can’t help but think now that Lauren LaPorte was the “man behind the curtain” so to speak of JMU. I think Dean was a pretty good recruiter but they sure aren’t missing him.

All the players that are in the departing Sr. group, like the pitcher, was recruited, signed and coached by Dean in their freshmen year. 

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4 minutes ago, wmsau said:

All the players that are in the departing Sr. group, like the pitcher, was recruited, signed and coached by Dean in their freshmen year. 

You can recruit and sign as many good players as you want. What I’m noticing is how they are developed once they are there. Which was not done by Dean.

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36 minutes ago, blakem said:

You can recruit and sign as many good players as you want. What I’m noticing is how they are developed once they are there. Which was not done by Dean.

Adding to this. That was Coach Myers most valuable trait. He never had highly ranked recruiting classes. He’d get a highly regarded recruit or two in each class. What he did do though is turn almost all of them into quality SEC softball players. Something I think Dean has failed to do.

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I suppose I'm the grand scheme of things, it's a bit hard to evaluate teams this past year based off how most teams had super seniors.  The teams in the WCWS are loaded with 5th year seniors that produced for them, while we saw very little production from our seniors.  In game questions about Dean are still valid, but i think the landscape would have looked much different in a regular year, including us. 

Now the question becomes, will things stabilize next year or are we still going to be dealing with roster issues until the current students are gone.  Everyone playing in 2020 received an extra year. I would think it would somewhat stabilize since teams can be better prepared to fill holes in roster.  I believe the roster count changes back to normal next year as well. 

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I definitely give my congratulations to JMU and LaPorte. It’s hard not to root for them right now. Alexander is the best pitcher in the country not named Montana Fouts or Rachael Garcia, and she might give them a run for their money. JMU scored 4 runs, but they only had 3 hits. Granted, 2 of those hits were HRs, but they weren’t exactly lighting up Saile. It goes to show how important the long ball is in today’s game. Hopefully the current players and incoming class can provide more pop in our lineup. 

I think next year will be more telling about LaPorte’s long-term coaching success. She can clearly develop talented players, but like Dean, her success is tied to two pitchers who Dean identified and recruited to JMu. If she is successful without Alexander, Gordon, and the other super seniors then I think she will be considered for any school who wants to make a change. 

I’m not sure she would come to Auburn if Dean’s contract was not renewed. She coached with him for 10 years, and I imagine they are good friends. Hopefully there are plenty of coaches who will jump at the chance. 

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5 hours ago, Jad0003 said:

I definitely give my congratulations to JMU and LaPorte. It’s hard not to root for them right now. Alexander is the best pitcher in the country not named Montana Fouts or Rachael Garcia, and she might give them a run for their money. JMU scored 4 runs, but they only had 3 hits. Granted, 2 of those hits were HRs, but they weren’t exactly lighting up Saile. It goes to show how important the long ball is in today’s game. Hopefully the current players and incoming class can provide more pop in our lineup. 

I think next year will be more telling about LaPorte’s long-term coaching success. She can clearly develop talented players, but like Dean, her success is tied to two pitchers who Dean identified and recruited to JMu. If she is successful without Alexander, Gordon, and the other super seniors then I think she will be considered for any school who wants to make a change. 

I’m not sure she would come to Auburn if Dean’s contract was not renewed. She coached with him for 10 years, and I imagine they are good friends. Hopefully there are plenty of coaches who will jump at the chance. 

I don't think we'd go that route again regardless of how good she is, especially with Deans infrastructure still in place.  Failed with the programs coach once etc.... just saying the likely backlash that would follow.  I don't think it would be popular.  I think she needs to go somewhere else first and then let's hire her lol. Fan of what she's doing. 

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10 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

It looks like she's at a big-time program right now.  

First unseeded team to win their first 2 games in the WCWS and she's 1 win away from having her team in the Championship Series.  She has a team that's gritty and has a "us against the world mentality".  They're playing sound fundamental softball on the biggest stage.   Yeah I would agree.  

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On 6/3/2021 at 9:03 PM, blakem said:

As I said in the other thread, I can’t help but think now that Lauren LaPorte was the “man behind the curtain” so to speak of JMU. I think Dean was a pretty good recruiter but they sure aren’t missing him.

Looking back on the hiring of Coach Dean I would have to say it was met with overall very favorable approval.  He was a head coach with long record of success at a competitive program.  None of his assistant coaches joined him and remained at JMU and filled the pitching coach position with Libby Morris.  They have been very successful.

Coach Dean hired Eddie Ketelhut as hitting coach and Annie Smith as his other assistant.  They left after 2 seasons.  Ketelhut  now has a training business for hitting and fielding while Smith is a volunteer assistant at Arkansas.  They were replaced by Eugene Lenti and Ruby Rojas.  Rojas seemed to basically take a sabbatical from Mt San Antonio Community college and returned there and resumed her HC position and replaced by Emily Carosone at AU.

When Clint Myers came to AU he brought his assistant Scott Woodard (now at UAB) and hired son Corey as pitching coach as well as having son Casey as volunteer assistant for hitting.  I suspect he was not allowed to have a family member as a paid staff member at Arizona State.  They certainly had some early success prior to the poor ending.

Larissa Anderson, who has been successful at Missouri brought one of her assistants with her from Hofstra.  I believe she just completed her 3rd season.

I have not done any extensive study of program success based on bringing assistant coaches from a successful program but it might be something to consider if and when hiring a HC.  A good HC should be very familiar with the capabilities of the assistants he/she might hire.  Also, a good assistant is likely a candidate to be hired as a HC at another institution or move for maybe a better paying job. That has not been the case for our earlier assistants and the jury is still out on our current staff. 

Just food for thought.

 

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5 hours ago, slot canyon said:

Looking back on the hiring of Coach Dean I would have to say it was met with overall very favorable approval.  He was a head coach with long record of success at a competitive program.  None of his assistant coaches joined him and remained at JMU and filled the pitching coach position with Libby Morris.  They have been very successful.

Coach Dean hired Eddie Ketelhut as hitting coach and Annie Smith as his other assistant.  They left after 2 seasons.  Ketelhut  now has a training business for hitting and fielding while Smith is a volunteer assistant at Arkansas.  They were replaced by Eugene Lenti and Ruby Rojas.  Rojas seemed to basically take a sabbatical from Mt San Antonio Community college and returned there and resumed her HC position and replaced by Emily Carosone at AU.

When Clint Myers came to AU he brought his assistant Scott Woodard (now at UAB) and hired son Corey as pitching coach as well as having son Casey as volunteer assistant for hitting.  I suspect he was not allowed to have a family member as a paid staff member at Arizona State.  They certainly had some early success prior to the poor ending.

Larissa Anderson, who has been successful at Missouri brought one of her assistants with her from Hofstra.  I believe she just completed her 3rd season.

I have not done any extensive study of program success based on bringing assistant coaches from a successful program but it might be something to consider if and when hiring a HC.  A good HC should be very familiar with the capabilities of the assistants he/she might hire.  Also, a good assistant is likely a candidate to be hired as a HC at another institution or move for maybe a better paying job. That has not been the case for our earlier assistants and the jury is still out on our current staff. 

Just food for thought.

 

Good email. However, I'll add that Dean's first coach he hired at AU is now the Head Coach at Louisiana. He was at Auburn for a few months and then that coaching position came open, and he was hired there. Then Dean hired Ketelhut late in the game as he need to fill that position.

 

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16 minutes ago, wmsau said:

Good email. However, I'll add that Dean's first coach he hired at AU is now the Head Coach at Louisiana. He was at Auburn for a few months and then that coaching position came open, and he was hired there. Then Dean hired Ketelhut late in the game as he need to fill that position.

 

After I posted I realized I had forgotten to mention Coach Glasco and his brief stay.  Also failed to include that LaPorte was an assistant with CMD for his last 3 seasons at Radford prior to his accepting the JMU position.

Edited by slot canyon
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