FIU Head Coach Beth McClendon and renowned hitting instructor Rob Crews to Join the USSSA Florida Pride Team
The pair has signed with the Pride as assistant coaches for the 2010 season.

The USSSA Florida Pride announced today the signing of Florida International University’s head softball coach Beth McClendon as assistant coach of the Pride for the 2010 National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) season. Joining her as assistant coach will be nationally renowned hitting instructor Rob Crews, current international director of hitting instruction for the Frozen Ropes Training Centers and owner of Complete Game, Inc.

In just three seasons at the helm of the FIU softball team, Beth McClendon has put the Golden Panther softball program on the map, with FIU emerging as an elite team in the Sun Belt Conference and in the nation.

FIU has increased its win total in each of McClendon’s years as head coach. FIU saw perhaps its most successful season of all-time come in 2010, as the Golden Panthers compiled a record of 38-21 and secured the program’s second NCAA Tournament bid of all-time as well as FIU’s first ever NCAA Tournament victory. The campaign saw the Golden Panthers sweep the SBC postseason awards as sophomore Ashley McClain was named Player of the Year, senior Kasey Barrett was tabbed Pitcher of the Year and freshman Brie Rojas named Freshman of the Year, while four student-athletes were named All-SBC First Team and one student-athlete earned All-SBC Second Team honors. In addition, McClendon was named SBC Co-Coach of the Year, marking her second conference coach of the year accolade in three years.

Prior to her arrival at FIU, McClendon spent six years at the University of Houston (2002-07), helping the Cougars to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2007 Conference USA Championship.

McClendon began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Stetson University from 2000-02, leaving her mark on the Hatters softball program after helping lead the 2001 squad to an Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Tri-Championship. McClendon’s pitchers set school records for wins (45), shutouts (20), strikeouts (385) and strikeouts per seven innings (6.70).

A four-year letterwinner at the University of Florida, McClendon is still listed near the top of the Gator record book with 60 career wins and 716 career innings pitched. She was a member of Florida’s 1998 Southeastern Conference Regular Season Championship team as the squad’s top pitcher. McClendon posted 20-win seasons in each of her last two years in a Gator uniform and was a two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week over her career.

McClendon also excelled in the classroom at Florida, receiving numerous academic awards. She was an NFCA Scholar-Athlete (1997-2000), a member of the All-SEC Academic Team (1998-2000), a GTE Academic Third-Team All-American (2000), a and recipient of the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award. McClendon earned a bachelor’s degree in health sciences in occupational therapy from UF in 2000.

A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Crews played baseball at Mansfield State University in Pennsylvania and Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. His teaching skills and results with athletes from the youth to the professional levels, has earned him the respect of coaches across the U.S. and abroad.

There is a long list of players and programs Rob has had a major influence on. Some of the top baseball and softball prospects from the Northeast, from Youth, Collegiate, Professional and Olympic level, and college teams in the Pac-10, SEC, ACC, Big West and Atlantic Ten conferences. Crews is currently consulting several Sports Marketing firms in the U.S. and abroad. He is also the author of the book, Complete Game, a mental skills publication for improving in-game focus and confidence. Crews oversees the Visual Mechanics and Sports Psychology curriculum for the Frozen Ropes Training Centers across the country and has been certified by Frozen Ropes to teach the visual mechanics curriculum to softball and baseball players throughout the industry.

The Visual Mechanics curriculum has been implemented by several Major League teams, most recently the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Combining traditional sports psychology with the latest research in vision training and time to collision research, the visual mechanics program provides a non-mechanical solution to hitter’s performance levels.

The Pride’s 2010 NPF season will kick off June 9 in Lubbock, Texas when the team faces the Chicago Bandits at Rocky Johnson Field, home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The opening game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. local time. For more information on the Pride, visit www.dev.usssapride.com.

The USSSA Florida Pride joined the NPF as a franchise Team in November of 2009, operated by Florida Pride LLC. USSSA managed the Pride Team during 2009, culminating their inaugural season with a second place finish in the Championship Series. USSSA Florida Pride is sponsored by USSSA, the world’s largest amateur sports association, and is headquartered in Kissimmee, Fla.

About USSSA Florida Pride:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About NPF:

National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.

About USSSA:

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!