Softball Coaching Staff|
Co-Head Coach Sue Everden has headed up the Amherst College softball
coaching staff since 1999, after taking the reins from Don Faulstick. During her tenure as head coach, Everden has racked
up a 45-17-1 record en route to back-to-back postseason appearances, and
was named NESCAC Coach of the Year twice. Since her commitment to the
softball program began, Everden has recorded a 123-51 record and has
taken the Jeffs to the postseason four consecutive times. A native of
North Olmsted, Ohio, 17 miles west of Cleveland, Everden describes herself
as the Number One Fan of the Cleveland Indians. After graduating from
Slippery Rock University (PA), Everden studied at the graduate level at
Springfield College. She has since put 23 years of collegiate coaching
experience under her belt, including stays at Springfield, Clarkson
University (NY), the United States Coast Guard Academy, and her ongoing
15-year residence at Amherst.
In addition to her duties on the softball field, Everden has proved
successful as the Head Coach for the women's volleyball team. She has
racked up a 333-151 record with the self-named Firedogs, and has become
a fixture in the postseason, posting 12 postseason appearances in the
last 15 years, including 3 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and 2
consecutive NESCAC Championships. She is a 2-time NESCAC Coach of the
Year and a 2-time New England Regional Coach of the Year.
When asked about her reasons for coaching, Everden quoted John Wooden,
and says, "They ask me why I coach, and I reply, Where could I find more
splendid company?" Everden continued, "I hope that I have helped to
minimize [my athletes'] disappointments and maximize their happiness.
But more than anything I hope that I have been a teacher that has helped
them realize what being a good citizen really means and how valuable and
important it is to be a genuinely good and caring human being."
Everden also serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for the College.
Co-Head Coach Jen Shea '98 served as Everden's right-hand assistant for the first two years
of Everden's stint as head coach, and was given co-head coaching honors
this year. A 1998 graduate of Amherst College, Shea was a member of the
first graduating class to have played softball on the varsity level for
four years, since the inception of the relatively young program as a
varsity sport in 1995.
A native of Hatfield, Mass., Shea racked up a prolific career of her own
as a Jeff. Her senior year, Shea co-captained the softball team for the
second year in a row from the mound en route to its 31-8 record, trip to
the NCAA Tournament and a number 16 ranking in the nation. During her
senior campaign, Shea was selected to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament
Team. She was also a member of the field hockey team, which she
tri-captained in 1997.
Following her graduation from Amherst with a degree in American Studies
in 1998, Shea took up residence for a year as the Physical Education and
Athletics Department's Edward J. Hitchcock Fellow. As the Hitchcock
Fellow, Shea continued to make a significant impact on the softball
program, this time as Everden's assistant coach, as well as assisting
with the field hockey and women's basketball teams. "It's been amazing
to be a part of the evolution of the Amherst softball program since its
first year as a varsity sport," said Shea. "The team's rise from
mediocrity to national prominence says a great deal about the people who
have been involved with the program. Those people, especially the women
who fought for the elevation of the program from club status to a varsity sport, worked hard to make Amherst softball the huge success that it is today."
Shea is currently enrolled in the Exercise and Sport Studies graduate
program at Smith College, and expects to graduate in May with a Masters
of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Studies. She also began coaching
thirds field hockey at the Williston-Northampton School and girl's
basketball at Smith Academy this year. In addition, Shea served as the
co-director of the Nike Amherst Softball Camp during the summers of 1999
Asst. Coach Gary VanCauwenberge, when asked why he chooses to coach, replied, "I think everyone has an activity or two that gives them their greatest enjoyment." He continued, "It is a time when they are so immersed in the experience that they no longer feel in control of themself, but rather the self is in control of them. There is a sense of fulfillment in watching an athlete perform in this zone." A native of Richfield Springs, NY, VanCauwenberge was a member of both the varsity baseball and men's club volleyball teams at Ohio Wesleyan University before graduuating as a member of the Class of 2000. After graduating Ohio Wesleyan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in health and physical education with a concentration in teacher certification, VanCauwenberge enrolled in the Exercise and Sport Studies graduate program at Smith College this year. He expects to graduate the program in May 2002 with a Masters of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Studies. As part of his graduate education, VanCauwenberge took on the responsibilities of Assistant Coach for both the volleyball and softball programs at Amherst beginning this fall. Under his tutelage, the volleyball program turned heads during its fall campaign, pounding its way to a 27-5 record and a berth in the NCAA Regional Tournament.