ROSEMONT, IL – March 10, 2014 - After a successful run with Mike Steuerwald at the helm, General Manager Aaron M. Moore announced today that Shane Winkler will be the new head coach for the Bandits. He will be assisted by Minnesota native Roman Foore.
“As an organization, we are very excited about the return of Coach Winkler to our staff,” stated Moore. “He is a veteran in the coaching ranks, especially in the NPF, and we’re hoping that knowledge of the league will help bring a third Cowles Cup to the Bandits.
“Both Bill (Sokolis) and I have a great deal of respect for Shane and we’re confident he’ll keep the Bandits performing well on the field.”
Winkler, who was previously an assistant coach for the Bandits during the 2009 season, is currently the Head Coach at Charleston Southern University. His assistant coach at CSU is current Bandits catcher Kristen Butler. He was also an assistant coach for the Akron Racers in 2007.
"I am excited and honored to once again be a part of the NPF and the Bandits organization,” exclaimed Winkler. “The Bandits are a first-class organization from top to bottom and our staff will continue to commit to the same type of excellence that has always been shown in Chicago.
“I believe the pieces are in place to bring the Cowles Cup Championship trophy back to Rosemont and I'm looking forward to getting out on the diamond and working towards making this happen for our front office and the great Bandit fans."
Prior to his current stint at Charleston Southern, Winkler picked up coaching experience along the way as an assistant coach at Marshall University and as the Co-Head Coach at Danville Area Community College in Danville, Ill.
Winkler is also familiar with the Pennsylvania Rebellion organization as he was once traded to their brother team, the Washington (Pa.) Wild Things.
"I would like to thank Bill and Aaron for this opportunity,” continued Winkler. “I love this sport and to be able to coach and promote the game at the highest level is truly a blessing."
Joining Winkler on the bench will be softball veteran Roman Foore.
Foore, who was most recently an assistant coach at Appalachian State University, came highly recommended to the Bandits by Winkler. In addition to his experience with ASU, Foore also served as an assistant coach for St. Thomas (Minn.) University. While at both locations, Foore worked primarily with the infielders and also played a key role in the offensive game plans at each school.
"It's a great honor to coach in such a prestigious organization,” stated Foore. “I'd like to thank Bill, Aaron and Shane for the tremendous opportunity placed before me. I'm looking forward to the things ahead."
Foore also has extensive experience in playing fastpitch. He had been a member of the United States Men’s National Team since 1998.
“Roman’s experience playing and coaching will be a great asset for the Bandits,” said Moore. “He will be a nice complement to Coach Winkler and his ability to throw live batting practice to the players will be great to have this summer.”
Steuerwald was named the Director of Softball Operations for The Dome at the Ballpark in August and he’ll continue in that position with the Village of Rosemont.
“The time was right for us to make some changes to the coaching staff,” said Moore. “With Stu working in the dome and the amount of activity they continue to have there, it was going to be tough for him to put everything in to coaching and his job.
“Stu did a great job here as the coach of the Bandits! We’re very thankful for all that he did and look forward to our continued relationship with him in his new role.”
In three years as the head coach or co-head coach for the Bandits, Steuerwald led the team to three straight NPF Championship appearances and a Cowles Cup victory in 2011. Steuerwald and assistant coach Jimmy Kolaitis were named the Coaching Staff of the Year following a 36-12 regular season in 2013. He also won an NPF Championship in 2009 with the Rockford Thunder as an assistant coach.
The Bandits begin the season with an exhibition game against the Indiana Slammers on Sunday, May 25 at 5 p.m. at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The team’s first regular season home game will be on Saturday, May 31 against the Akron Racers.
For additional information on the Bandits visit them on the web at www.chicagobandits.com or call the office at (877) 722-6348.
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Monica Abbott. The two-time NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2014 season will be the Bandits 10th season in the NPF.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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 and has been since 2002.