ROSEMONT, IL (February 21, 2017) – The Chicago Bandits have hired University of Florida assistant coach Sharonda McDonald as the team’s new head coach for the 2017 season, general manager Toni Calmeyn announced on Tuesday.
McDonald, who is in her second year as an assistant coach with the Gators, oversees the development of the Florida outfield. Last season, her efforts culminated with the program’s first ever SEC and national Freshman of the Year in current sophomore Amanda Lorenz.
“We are excited to have Sharonda McDonald join the Bandits’ program,” Calmeyn said in a statement. She comes highly recommended by her peers and when it came to filling our head coaching position, she was the first and foremost candidate that we looked at when going through this process.”
The Houston, Texas native is no stranger to the level of competition in the NPF as she spent six seasons as a professional in the league. In 2014, McDonald played her final season with the USSSA Pride after enjoying 2010-12 campaigns with the Akron Racers and 2007-08 seasons with the Philadelphia force. Additionally, McDonald spent the 2009 season playing overseas with the Fiorini Softball Club of the Italian Professional League.
A three-time All-NPF selection during her career, McDonald garnered the prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases while with the Racers. She concluded the 2014 season with a career batting average over .270 to go along with over 100 runs scored, capping off her playing career with a Cowles Cup championship as a member of the Pride.
“I am humbled and excited to be back as part of the NPF and such a historic program like the Bandits organization,” McDonald said. “After having spent several years in the league as a player, to have the chance to gain more experience working with so many talented players is something that I look forward to in the coming months.”
Considered as one of the brightest young minds in the game, McDonald has made strides in each of her four different coaching stops which includes Texas Tech (2015; associate head coach), LSU (2013-14; volunteer assistant), Ohio (2010-12; assistant coach) and Texas Southern (2008; assistant coach).
For more information about the Chicago Bandits, or to inquire about becoming a season ticket holder for the 2017 season, visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the front 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, Monica Abbott and Tammy Williams. The four-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2017 season will be the Bandits 13th 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.