Berg join USA staff
OKLAHOMA CITY — The most decorated USA Softball Olympic athlete will be back with the Red, White and Blue this summer as an assistant coach for the Women’s National Team the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball announced today. With three Olympic Gold Medals and one Olympic Silver, former center fielder Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.) will join head coach Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./ head coach of Univ. of South Florida) and assistants Mike White (Eugene, Ore/ head coach Univ. of Oregon.) and Tairia Flowers ( Tucson, Ariz./ head coach at Cal State Northridge) as an assistant for the 2012 season.
“It was such an honor to wear the Red, White and Blue as a player for many years,” said current Oregon State assistant coach Berg. “And now it’s even more of an honor and privilege to be a part of this coaching staff for the 2012 season and the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championships. I am really excited for my new role and looking forward to this opportunity.”
Joining the national team in 1994 as a center fielder, Berg is a four-time Olympic medalist and has won 11 total medals, 10 Gold, while competing for the U.S. in the Olympic Games, the ISF Women’s World Championship and the Pan American Games. Berg previously had two stints as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Fresno State, from 2000-03 and 2005-06, stepping down to train with the National Team in the interim.
“I am very excited to have one of the world's best outfielders join our National Team staff,” said head coach Eriksen. “Laura Berg's tenacity and knowledge of fast pitch softball at the international level can only enhance our program's climb towards the ISF World Championship this summer. Along with former Olympic Gold Medalist Tairia Flowers and former USA Men's pitcher Michael White on staff, Berg rounds out a staff that I can count on to cover all facets of our team. Needless to say I can't wait to get going again.”
Eriksen, White and Flowers return to the staff after leading the 2011 USA Women’s National Team to a fifth World Cup of Softball title as well as the program’s eighth Pan American Games Gold Medal.
The final 2012 Women’s National Team roster will be named on June 13 after a selection camp that takes place June 9-12 in Ashland, Ohio. In addition, a USA Softball Women’s Elite National team will be named on June 13. Immediately following the selection camp, the two teams will square off in an exhibition series in Summersville, W.Va. (June 14) and Ashland, Ohio (June 18). Click here for ticket information.
The 2012 USA Softball Elite team will be led by Karen Weekly (Edmonds, Wash./co-head coach at Univ. of Tennessee) and assisted by Howard Dobson (Orange, Texas/assistant coach at LSU), and Jay Miller (Starkville, Miss. /former World Champion head coach for USA Softball). This marks Dobson’s first appointment to a USA Softball National team camp and coaching staff.
“It’s a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity to represent USA Softball,” said Dobson. “I’m looking forward to being able to work with such talented athletes and great coaches. I am honored to have myself and LSU softball involved in the USA National Team Program.”
All of the coaches mentioned above will assist at the team selection camp and then lead the two teams through the four exhibition games.
Click here for ticket information to all 2012 Summer events.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.