OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) announced today that Ronnie Isham, of Stephenville, TX, has been named to replace Ralph Weekly as the Director of National Teams for USA Softball. Isham comes to the ASA National Office after serving decades within the Texas Amateur Softball Association and the City of Stephenville.
“I feel like I have something to offer, because of my years of experience with the USA Softball National Team Program,” said Isham. “I’m not just interested in one phase, but all phases of the program, and I want to make sure we put the best teams on the field in all areas of our program.”
Isham is no stranger to the USA Softball National Team program and has been involved with all aspects of program. He began working with USA Softball as early as 1978 when the International Softball Federation (ISF) President asked Isham to form a men’s fast pitch team to represent the USA in a tour of South Africa. Isham and his team spent 30 days traveling across South Africa in an effort to promote the sport of Men’s Fast Pitch Softball.
He coached men’s major fast pitch teams from Stephenville, TX, from 1968-1985, and during his tenure his teams made numerous appearances in ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championships. His Fosters squad first made an appearance in 1976, while the Texas A’s made its first appearance in 1982.
“We are blessed to have found someone with Ronnie’s experience with the sport of softball and our national team program,” said Ron Radigonda, ASA executive director. “He showed a tremendous initiative in seeking the position and truly has a vision for where he would like to see to program go. We are excited to have Ronnie on board and look forward to continued success in all aspects of our national team program.”
In 1992, Isham was named to the Women’s National Team Selection Committee that was charged with selecting the first-ever U.S. Olympic Softball Team. That team went on to win the gold medal in Atlanta and brought the sport of fast pitch softball national attention with its efforts.
Isham was selected as the USA Softball National Team Leader for several national teams, including the 1996 Olympic Team. His first assignment came in 1991 with the Junior Men’s National Team that competed in the ISF World Championships in New Zealand. Isham also served on a selection committee that chose the players that would make up the USA Junior Men’s National Team for that tournament.
Since his appointment to the Women’s National Selection Committee, Isham has been involved in selecting every USA Softball Women’s National Team since 1992, including the 1994 and 1998 World Championship Teams that captured gold, 1995 and 1999 Pan Am gold medal teams and the 2000 Olympic gold medal team.
Although Isham has been involved with the ASA for decades, his participation on the selection committee comes through his affiliation with an ASA allied member, the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF). Isham has served as a TAAF president (1990-1991) and is one of only 14 individuals in 75 years to receive the Koger Stokes Award, the association's highest honor.
With Isham's appointment to the national office, it leaves a vacancy on the Women’s National Team Selection Committee. Once he takes his position later this year, he will begin the process of finding a replacement for the committee. The replacement must come from an allied member and applications will be taken and reviewed by an interview panel.
Isham will continue to work with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to ensure that the USA Softball National Teams receives the on-field and off-field support they need to be successful.
“I look forward to continuing our on-going relationship with the USOC,” Isham said. “It is important that we continue to work closely with the USOC and utilize all the avenues they provide us to be successful.”
Isham will continue on as the Texas ASA Commissioner through the ASA National Council Meeting in Winston-Salem, N.C., October 27-November 2. He also will be retiring from the City of Stephenville after 35-and-a-half years of service to pursue the new challenge of being the USA Softball Director of National Teams.
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