Without coaches, softball continues preparing for season
By Caroline Buck, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, October 7, 2010
Head coach Christine Vogt and assistant coaches Mariruth Galbraith and Michelle Littlefield all resigned from their respective positions before the beginning of Fall term, leaving the Dartmouth women’s softball team without a coaching staff.
All three women said they were leaving for a variety of personal reasons.
Harry Sheehy, who started as athletic director Sept. 7, said that he was not given any prior indication that the coaches would be leaving.
“I have talked with Christine [Vogt], and she remains supportive of the program and the women on the team,” Sheehy wrote in an e-mail to The Dartmouth on Tuesday.
“It was an unfortunate series of events” third baseman Molly Khalil ’12 said.
Galbraith told the team that she was leaving in order to spend more time with her family and care for her young children, Khalil said. Littlefield left her post so that she could move closer to her family in Massachusetts, according to Khalil.
“I got a call a few weeks before school started that, for personal reasons, [Vogt] was leaving,” Khalil said.
“We are very hopeful that the new coach will be named within the next few days,” Sheehy wrote in the e-mail.
To find a replacement, the athletic department has been conducting a nationwide search and has narrowed the pool down to two candidates, according to Khalil. After submitting a resume and application to Dartmouth, prospective coaches undergo a phone interview before visiting campus for meetings and more interviews.
“As a team, we obviously want to win an Ivy League Championship, and we want a winning background,” Khalil said. “We came close before, and we just need someone to bring us to the top.”
The team has had some input in the hiring process. Each applicant will visit with the team as well as members of the athletic department before a decision is made.
The team has met with two candidates thus far.
“While head coaching experience wasn’t a requirement, it certainly might be a strong positive factor,” Sheehy wrote. “In addition, we wanted to look for someone who would be effective in the Ivy League.”
Until the athletic department hires new coaches, the team has focused on conditioning and relied on leadership within the team to prepare for this season, said Khalil. The team has also been working with strength and conditioning coach Amanda Bayliss in the Floren Varsity House, according to Audrey Kolodziej.
“We have all been working hard, keeping up skills,” Khalil said. “We are not lacking direction — we know what we are supposed to be doing.”
Khalil and Kolodziej ’11 — the only junior and senior on the team — have filled the coaching void, scheduling workouts and conditioning for the team.
Kara Curosh ’14 said that the upperclassmen have been helpful in welcoming the freshmen to the team.
“It was very sudden,” she said of the coaches’ announcement. “It was a huge shock. I have high expectations. We really have the potential to do well.”
Kolodziej said she would like the team to remain focused on what its always been doing and that she hopes Vogt will be remembered positively.
“I had been with [Vogt] for three years, and it will definitely be a big change for my last year,” she said. “I think she should be remembered for putting the team in a good position for success.”
Kolodziej said that while she does not know Vogt’s personal reasons for leaving, she respects her former coach’s decision.
“I know she left because it was the right thing for her,” she said. “We learn to adapt from these things.”
Khalil said that she also respects Vogt’s decision and that she does not foresee problems on the team due to Vogt’s sudden departure.
“I don’t think that [lacking a coach] will affect the season, and it shouldn’t,” she said.