2020 Speaker Bios – Softball
The Pennsylvania Baseball & Softball Coaches Clinic, presented by the Art of Coaching, takes tremendous pride in the quality of speakers that present to our attendees each year. We conduct extensive research and recruit individuals that come highly recommended as clinicians. We strive to to make our roster of speakers a blend of successful veteran coaches along with some young “rising stars” of the coaching profession. As we celebrate our 34th annual clinic, we thank all of our loyal attendees and we look forward to providing the coaching community with an excellent event for many years to come.
LONNI ALAMEDA - Florida St. University
Over the last five years, Alameda has guided FSU back into the ranks of the elite in the softball world. After seven Women’s College World Series appearances from 1987-2004, the Seminoles returned to the final site of women’s collegiate softball three times in the last five seasons (2014, 2016 and 2018), including winning the program’s first NCAA National Championship just a season ago. Florida State has earned six ACC regular season titles in a row, five straight ACC Tournament titles and now owns 16 ACC Championships. FSU has played in the NCAA postseason every year under Alameda, and is one of only nine schools to participate in the NCAA Tournament in every season since 2000. During her tenure, Alameda has led the Seminoles to nine ACC Championship game appearances with titles in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. While at FSU, Alameda has collected eight Coach of the Year Awards, including the 2018 National Coaching Staff of the Year Award. She owns five ACC Coach of the Year Awards, one behind the all-time leader, former PA Coaches Clinic presenter, JoAnne Graf. In 2018, FSU finished with a 58-12 record, the most wins in a single season under Alameda and it marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that FSU topped the 50-win plateau during her career.
Alameda carries an impressive coaching resume on the international level as well after helping aid in the development of the Canadian National Team from 2004 to 2008. Prior to her time at FSU, Alameda coached at UNLV, Stanford and Barry University (Miami Shores, Fla.) An all-around great athlete, Alameda began her collegiate career as a pitcher at St. Mary’s University (San Antonio, Texas) where she led the Rattlers to the NAIA Tournament in her only season. She later transferred to Oklahoma in 1989 where she played softball and volleyball for the Sooners.
Lonni Alameda’s 2019 TOPICS:
Talk'n Softball with Lonni Alameda (Feature Presentation)
NATASHA WATLEY – UCLA Hall of Famer/Multiple-Time World Champion
If you were to write down some of the greatest players in the history of the game, by any measure, Watley’s name would have to grace the list. Watley’s career includes stints with the UCLA Bruins, the USA Softball Women’s National Team and USSSA Pride. She played shortstop and first base while helping UCLA win a national championship in 2003 and Team USA claim the gold medal for in 2004 at the Summer Olympics in Athens. She is the first African-American female to play on the United States Softball team in the Olympics. She is the career batting average leader in the National Pro Fastpitch. She owns numerous records for the Bruins and is one of only a handful of NCAA Division I players players to bat at least .400 with 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases.
Natasha Watley's 2019 Topics:
DRILLS SESSION: N
DRILLS SESSION: M
SUE KUNKLE – University of Southern Indiana
Kunkle begins her 18th year at the helm of the Screaming Eagles after leading USI to its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship in 2018. Her squad finished 14-1 in the postseason, capturing their first GLVC Tournament title since 1998. In addition, USI claimed their second straight NCAA II Midwest Region title and the university's first-ever team national championship in a women's sport. Kunkle's club finished the 2018 campaign with 41 wins, marking the second straight 40-win season and third in program history while being named the unanimous No. 1 team in the country in the final NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll. For their efforts, Kunkle and her assistant coaches were named the NFCA Division II National and Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year. USI's all-time winningest coach is also the all-time winningest pitcher at California University (PA). A four-year starter, Kunkle won 54 games from 1990-94.
Suzanne Kunkle's 2019 Topics:
Building a Championship Culture - Why Our Keys to Success are Trust and Relationships
Improving Location (Specifically the Fastball & the Off Speed)
DRILLS SESSION: Infield Drills/Circuit Ideas
DRILLS SESSION: Hitting Drills to Work the Lower Half
STEPHANIE VAN BRAKLE PROTHRO – University of Alabama
Prothro is preparing for her eighth season as pitching coach at her alma mater after helping guide the Crimson Tide to yet another stellar campaign. Alabama finished the 2018 season ranked in the top 25 for the 19th straight year. The team made its 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round for an NCAA-record 14th straight year. During her tenure, Alabama made four appearances in the World Series and captured the first national championship in school history. She's been part of an NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year three times and a National Coaching Staff of the Year in 2012 as the Crimson Tide finished the season with an incredible 60-8 record. Prior to her time at Alabama, Prothro served as head coach at Samford and Birmingham Southern College. As a player, she pitched in National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) for the Philadelphia Force after completing an outstanding collegiate career where she was named SEC Pitcher of the Year and was one of ten finalists for the Collegiate Player of the Year.
Stephanie Van Brakle Prothro's 2019 Topics:
Transitioning from Pitcher to Pitching Coach
Drop Ball & Curveball: How to Maximize Spin & Movement
DRILLS SESSION: Speed, Power, & Conditioning Drills for Pitchers
DRILLS SESSION: Competition Drills/Games to Create a “Game Day” Feel for Pitchers
JODI HERMANEK - University of Pittsburgh
After spending the past decade at Ohio University, Hermanek is preparing for her inaugural campaign at Pitt. She takes over a program that won the ACC Coastal Division title for the first time and reached the ACC Tournament championship game for the second time in four years. Hermanek is no stranger to success as she helped guide Ohio to its second season of 40 or more victories in 2018. For her efforts, she and her staff were named the National Fastpitch Coaching Association East Regional Coaching Staff of the Year. During her tenure at Ohio she claimed two Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament championships (2018, 2014), a MAC regular-season championship (2018) and three MAC East Division championships (2018, 2017, 2011). Prior to her time at Ohio, Hermanek spent four years at Southern Utah where she led the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearances, back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
Jodi Hermanek's 2019 Topics:
Base Running: Aggressive Mind-Set to Make the Average Speed Faster
Defensive Strategy: Devising a Pitching Attack Plan
Pitchers Training: Training Methods to Strengthen A Pitcher’s Command
DRILLS SESSION: Team Defensive Drills
ALISA GOLER - Penn State University
After three seasons at Syracuse under former PA Coaches Clinic speaker Michael Bosch, Goler is preparing for her first year with the Nittany Lions under another former Coaches Clinic presenter, Amanda Lehotak. As the associate head coach with the Orange, Goler served as the infield and hitting coach as well as the recruiting coordinator. Under her guidance, Syracuse set three new single-season team offensive records including batting average (.307), hits (433), and on-base percentage (.388). The Orange also set a new single-season record for fielding percentage (.976). Prior to joining Syracuse, Goler coached at Roosevelt University. As a player. she spent seven seasons in the National Pro Fastpitch where she was named Rookie of the Year in 2011 and was a two-time All-NPF Team honoree. A graduate of Georgia, Goler was a three-time All-American, four-time first-team All-Southeast Region selection and a three-time first-team All-SEC honoree..
Alisa Goler's 2019 Topics:
Mental Aspects of Hitting
How to Create a Winning Strategy
Off-season Practice Planning
DRILLS SESSION: Creating Separation/Utilizing the Back Hip Correctly
DRILLS SESSION: Proper Use of the Upper Half in Hitting
DANA CAVALEA – Former NY Yankees Director of Strength & Conditioning & Performance Enhancement (2007-13)
Cavalea spent 12 years with the New York Yankees organization, serving primarily in the role of Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance Enhancement. In 2009, the Bronx Bombers won the World Series and Cavelea was honored as the recipient of the MLB Nolan Ryan Award, given to MLB's top strength coach as voted by his peers. During his career, Cavalea had the opportunity to train several elite superstar's including Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Justin Verlander and many more. Cavalea currently works as a performance speaker and consultant to pro athletes, entrepreneurs, business executives, workforces and universities on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life balance, and, most importantly, improve daily performance/outcomes. Cavalea has formulated plans and strategies to improve sleep, reduce pain, lower stress, improve body composition, improve speed, strength and power and maximize performance through mental training. Visit danacavalea.com to learn more.
Dana Cavalea's 2019 Topics:
Developing an Iron Throwing Arm for Pitchers
DRILLS SESSION: On-Field Arm-Exercise Program for an Injury Free Season
DRILLS SESSION: Designing a Complete Core Development Program
ZACH SORENSEN – Brian Cain Peak Performance
Brian Cain Peak Performance is widely regarded as the nation’s foremost authority on peak mental performance. The company has produced over 800 draft picks (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL), over 50 NCAA championship teams, 8 UFC champs and hundreds of high school state champions. Sorensen has worked with Brian Cain Peak Performance since 2014 as a Mental Conditioning Coach specializing in the application of The 12 Pillars of Peak Performance for baseball. He currently works in the Texas Rangers Peak Performance Department helping professional athletes create an elite mindset through the mental game. A highly sought after speaker and coach, Sorensen will emphasize how to compete one pitch at a time and how to give athletes the best chance for success. Sorensen was an All-American and Academic All-American at Wichita State and was a 2nd round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1998 MLB Draft. He made his MLB Debut with the Indians on June 3, 2003 and went on to play for both the Indians and the Anaheim Angels.
Zach Sorensen's 2019 Topics:
The #1 Way to Motivate Your Players - Creating Belief through a PPI
Guarantee Progress with your 14:24
DRILLS SESSION: Building Culture and Implementing the Mental Game - MVP