May 26, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Washington softball defensive coordinator J.T. D’Amico has agreed to terms with the USSSA Florida Pride professional team (NPF) to become their next head coach upon conclusion of the Washington’s run in Oklahoma City in the WCWS. This move will not affect his role with the UW coaching staff as the NPF season concludes with a championship series at the end of August in Chicago.
The star studded USSSA Florida Pride has a roster littered with legends of the game, former Olympians, NCAA National Champions and a few former Huskies. D’Amico will be reunited with former Huskies Danielle Lawrie, Ashley Charters, Jenn Salling and Niki Williams. Cat Osterman, Natasha Watley, Caitlin Lowe and Kelly Kretchman are just a few of the other names which dot the USSSA roster. The Pride has not won an NPF title since 2010.
“I had the pleasure of meeting J.T. a couple years ago and was very impressed with him and his philosophy on how the game should be played. Consequently, his name was easily at the top of my list when the need for a head coach arose for the USSSA Pride,” said Don Dedonatis, USSSA General Manager.with legends of the game, former Olympians, NCAA National Champions and a few former Huskies. D’Amico will be reunited with former Huskies Danielle Lawrie,Ashley Charters, Jenn Salling and Niki Williams. Cat Osterman, Natasha Watley, Caitlin Lowe and Kelly Kretchman are just a few of the other names which dot the USSSA roster. The Pride has not won an NPF title since 2010.
“With the addition of J.T.’s leadership, bringing with him the winning traditions found at the University of Washington, I feel that this, combined with our talented, professional athletes, can only result in the highest calibrated team ever assembled.” DeDonatis continued.
As the defensive coordinator for the Huskies, the UW defense is currently enjoying its best fielding percentage in school history. D’Amico is excited about the opportunity to lead the Pride, but remains focused on helping the Huskies prepare in Oklahoma City.
When asked about the Pride job, he said, “we have work to do in Oklahoma City and there are things we can improve on as a unit. We’re excited to be back in Oklahoma City, no doubt. Our current group is one that all UW fans should be extremely proud of as we are a tough, resilient team.
“As for the Pride, I want to give a huge thank you to my wife (UW Head Coach Heather Tarr) for allowing me the option to consider the offer. Obviously, the roster has physical talent and it’s an honor to lead them. Don has really assembled a great group of names and wants to win a championship badly. So do I- it’s why you put on a uniform, whether it’s in Oklahoma City or Kissimmee, Florida. That said, teams win championships, not simply names. That will always remain in the forefront of what we do. We will all have to adapt. Teams win because players and coaches adapt to one another.
“If we strive to constantly improve and sharpen our skill sets, there is no ceiling for how good this team can be. Those skills also include the six inches between your ears and the ability to take your job seriously, but not yourself too seriously, there is a difference,” said D’Amico.
The Huskies open up play in the 2013 Women’s College World Series against the winner of the Oregon-Nebraska Super regional on Thursday (time TBD).
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.
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.
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!