ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Bandits have announced that three-year NPF coaching veteran, Mike Steuerwald, and former Northern Illinois University (NIU) coach, Keith Berg, as Associate Head Coaches for the 2012 season.
“We’re very excited about adding Keith to our staff. He came highly recommended and has worked with a few of our athletes in the past,” said General Manager Aaron M. Moore. “He will work well with Stu and will form a solid pair.
“Mike has been a part of the organization now for two years and is entering his fourth year in the league, so he has as much knowledge as any coach. He knows what Bill Sokolis and I are looking for and will do a great job making it happen.”
Entering the league in 2009 as an assistant coach for the Rockford Thunder, Steuerwald has been serving as the Bandits assistant for the past two seasons. In 2010, as an assistant to head coach Mickey Dean, he was honored as part of the NPF Coaching Staff of the Year, helping guide the Bandits to a 30-20 record and their fifth regular season Championship in six seasons.
Last season as an assistant under head coach, Darrick Brown, he helped lead the Bandits to a 20-20 regular season record and coached them to the 2011 NPF Championship, their second as a franchise.
“I’m excited about coming back to the Bandits organization and continuing to work with a great group of players and front office,” said Steuerwald. “There has been a high standard set with the previous head coaches in the Chicago organization and I look forward to helping carry on the winning tradition that has been established on the field and to help promote the league and the game I love to coach.”
In the off-season Steuerwald serves as an assistant coach for the softball team at Elon University in Elon, N.C. He previously served as the head coach at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. for two seasons before heading to Elon.
The newest addition to the coaching staff, Berg, began his coaching career in 2001 as the Varsity coach at North Salinas High School in Salinas, Calif. where he coached current Bandits ace, Monica Abbott. During his time there he coached the Vikings to two Central Coast Section Athletic titles.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the coaching staff of the NPF World Champion Chicago Bandits. With the return of a core group of players and the excellent results from the draft I fully expect the team to content for a third league championship.”
He began his collegiate coaching career at NIU before moving on to the University of North Texas. From 2007 until 2011 he served as the pitching coach for St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. where the Gaels won the 2010 Pacific Coast Softball Conference Championship. Berg is currently serving as the assistant softball coach at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif.
The Bandits kick off the 2012 season on Saturday, June 2 with a special day designed for fans, including a meet-n-greet. Opening Day is scheduled for Thursday, June 7 when the Bandits host the USSSA Pride at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets, visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the office at 877-722-6348.
Looking for other ways to connect with the Bandits? Follow us on Twitter, @NPFBandits, and visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/ChicagoBandits. You can also follow Associate Head Coach, Mike Steuerwald, @Coach_Stu.
About Chicago Bandits
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of National Pro Fastpitch. Located in the Chicagoland area, 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 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch 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 since 2002.