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From D1 to Two-Year Colleges, Coaching Changes Aplenty in the Northwest

By Tom Mauldin


SHERYL GILMORE has been named the head coach of the Western Washington University softball program.

Gilmore returns to her alma mater after a successful four-year tenure as the head softball coach at Edmonds Community College (Lynnwood, Wash.). She holds a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology and master of science in human movement and performance.

Gilmore will be WWU's fifth head coach during the 26-year history of the program, and follows Amy Suiter.

During her four seasons at Edmonds, Gilmore led the Tritons to a 106-60 (.639) record, and guided Edmonds to the NWAC playoffs in three of her four seasons as coach, including the North Region title in 2018 and a 3rd-place finish at the NWAC Tournament.

In 2018, Edmonds set a program record for wins with 42 and won the North Region championship (29-3 in region play). Gilmore was named the NWAC North Region Coach of the Year, and seven players earned NWAC All-North Region honors.

Suiter, who guided the Vikings to a 211-179 (.541) record in eight seasons, said she left the position as WWU's head coach in order to spend more time with her family and to utilize her extensive education in mental skills training and sport psychology.

Former Douglas College coach MICHELLE PETERS has been named head coach of Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C.), Canada’s lone NCAA softball program.

Peters replacing Mike Rennie, who retired after 24 seasons and with a 635-365 win-loss record.

Peters has more than 15 years of coaching experience after a standout playing career at Long Island University, an NCAA D2 program in New York.

Peters led Douglas College to a 32-0 regular season record in 2017 as the only Canadian team competing in the Northwest Athletic Conference, a league for colleges located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. 

Peters was recognized as the 2017 Coach of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Douglas lost just twice in 2017 and took home the NWAC silver trophy.

In five seasons at Douglas (Westminster, B.C.), Peters complied a 154-35 record and .820 winning percentage. Her program produced 43 conference all-stars and three NFCA All-Americans.

KATIE DUROE, who previously coached at Ellsworth Community College where she was also the head of recruiting, is the new head softball coach at Northwest Christian University (Eugene, Ore.).

Prior to NCU , Duroe coached at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, where she was the top assistant for two seasons and helped lead a program that was ranked in the top-ten in the NJCAA ranks.

Duroe, who played softball at NAIA Baker University in Kansas, graduated with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. She also earned her Master's degree in Sport Management from Southern New Hampshire University.

Duroe will also assume duties as NCU's Athletic Event Coordinator.

Three-year assistant TRACI BARRETT has been named interim head coach at Pacific Lutheran University.

She replaces Brandi Gordon-Bennett who stepped down after two seasons at the helm to pursue other professional opportunities outside of coaching. 

During Bennett’s stretch as an assistant, the Lutes have won 60 games.

Barrett, a former club coach, received an Associate of Arts degree from Pierce College and a degree in U.S. History from the University of Washington. 

LOGAN PARKER has been hired to replace Justin Speer as Walla Walla Community College’s head coach.

Parker was an assistant coach at Fresno City College where he focused on outfielders coach with additional duties overseeing hitters and infielders. 

Prior to Fresno City, Parker spent two seasons coaching high school softball and 18U travel softball in Southern Idaho.  While participating in both baseball and basketball at Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID), Parker held a career batting average of .342 and earned Freshman Player of the Year honors in his first season.  He was a multi-year first team all conference selection.  

Parker earned a degree in Recreation and Sport Management from NNU in 2013. In 2016, he earned his Masters Degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University.

Speer, who coached the WWCC softball team for four seasons, moved from softball to WWCC’s head baseball coach position.

LINZIE SCHOLWINSKI was selected as softball coach at Community Colleges of Spokane. She is replacing Paco Crandall who served as the head coach for the past two seasons.

Scholwinski pitched at CCS from 2013-2015 and in 2015 she was named NWAC Baden player of the year, leading Spokane to the NWAC Championship when she posted a record of 29-0 with a 0.81 ERA. She also set the school record for single season strikeouts with 278.

Scholwinski attended Southeastern University. At Southeastern she set the single season strikeout record with 304 and helped lead them to a 3rd place finish at the 2016 NAIA World Series.

Scholwinski is a graduate of Coeur d’ Alene High school and was their head softball coach this past season.

MIKE NELSON has returned to Pierce College as the new head coach for the Raider Softball program.

Nelson was an assistant with the Raiders in 2010, 2011, and 2012, when the Raiders won two West Division titles (2010 and 2011), and placed fifth at the NWAC Championships (2011).

CHUCK STARK has been named interim head coach at Edmonds Community College. He replaces Gilmore.

Prior coming to Edmonds, Stark coached five years at Olympic College. He assisted at OC from 2013-15 and was the head coach in 2016 and 2017. In his five years there, the Rangers qualified for the NWAC playoffs four times. 

Stark is a former men’s fastpitch player and is a member of the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame for his on-field success.

MONTESSA CALIFANO has been hired to head the softball progam at Columbia Basin Community College.

Califano comes to CBCC from Northwest University where she was head coach for three seasons and compiled a 37-94 won-loss record.

Califano is a 2013 graduate of Pacific Lutheran with a degree in psychology. She played four seasons for PLU and was all-league twice, in addition to being named PLU’s 2013 female athlete of the year when she batted .397.

Califano, who was an assitant coach at PLU for two seasons, was a member of the Lutes' 45-11 NCAA Division III national championship team in 2012.

BILL DILLON has been named interim head coach at Northwest University (Tacoma, Wash.). He attended Northwest University and is currently an Advisor in the Student Accounts office at NU. He is in his fourth season with the Eagles.

In addition to those recent announcements, earlier this summer the most successful coach in the University of Oregon history, MIKE WHITE, moved on to the University of Texas.

In his nine seasons in Eugene, White led Oregon to five Women’s College World Series appearances, including this season when the Ducks earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. He compiled a 435-111-1 record at Oregon and won five Pac-12 championships.

White was replaced by long-time Oklahoma assistant MELYSSA LOMBARDI, the 2017 DI assistant softball coach of the year. She has been directly responsible for the Oklahoma pitchers and catchers during her time in Norman that saw the Sooners win four national championships, including two of the last three.

Oklahoma reached the postseason in each of Lombardi's 21 seasons, advancing to the Women's College World Series (WCWS) 12 times. The Sooners made Super Regionals the last nine seasons, and the WCWS seven times in the past eight seasons.

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