Valparaiso softball head coach Kate Stake announced today the addition of Monica Wright to the Crusader coaching staff as an assistant coach, directly responsible for working with the program’s pitchers. Wright comes to Valpo from Bowling Green, where she spent the last four seasons guiding the Falcons’ pitchers.
“I am thrilled for this program to be adding Monica to our staff - she is an experienced, hardworking coach who has demonstrated her ability to get outstanding performances from her pitching staffs over the past several years,” said Stake. “We have a group of talented pitchers on this team, and I’m confident Monica is the person to bring out the very best in each of them. Moreover, she is a person of solid character. She understands and embraces servant-leadership, and there is no doubt all our players will benefit on and off the field from the relationships they’ll build with her. I can’t wait for her to make the move to Valpo and get started with our team once the school year rolls back around.”
During her four years at Bowling Green, Wright led a pitching staff which posted a cumulative ERA of 2.55 over her tenure. In 2012, the Falcons finished the season with a 2.10 ERA, which ranked 32nd in the country, while the next season saw BGSU post a MAC-best earned run average of 2.17, good for 24th nationally.
Wright guided a pair of pitchers while at BGSU who both rank among the Falcons’ top-10 winningest pitchers of all time and are 1-2 in Bowling Green history in saves. Jamie Kertes finished her career third in program history in strikeouts and fourth in victories. Kertes was named the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2012 and was a two-time First Team All-Conference award winner. Meanwhile, Paris Imholz was an All-Freshman Team selection as a rookie and was also a Second Team All-Conference honoree.
“I would like to express my gratitude to associate director of athletics Stephen Anthony and Coach Stake for allowing me the opportunity to become a part of the Crusader family,” said Wright. “I have great respect for Coach Stake and her vision, and I am looking forward to what I know will be a very rewarding coaching position.”
Prior to arriving at Bowling Green, Wright spent the 2011 season as an assistant pitching coach at Elon, where she helped guide the Phoenix to 30 victories as a pair of pitchers ranked among the top-seven in program history in single-season strikeouts. Wright has also spent time as a pitching instructor at Elite Sports Performance in Oswego, Ill. where she educated pitchers on proper pitching mechanics and fundamentals, as well as leading conditioning and agility drills.
Wright played three years collegiately at Indiana, where she made 124 career appearances, tossing 48 complete games. She recorded 30 wins as a Hoosier and registered 348 strikeouts. A Big Ten All-Academic Team choice, Wright ranks among the Hoosiers’ top-six all-time in career appearances, starts and innings pitched. She spent her first season at UNI, tallying team highs with 169.2 innings pitched and 91 strikeouts, before transferring to IU.
“Monica has always had an amazing work ethic - she is a true student of the game,” said Michelle Gardner, who coached Wright in her final two seasons at Indiana. “I feel she has a great understanding of the game and the ability to get the best from her pitching staff, as well as all of those around her.”