OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball is proud to announce the selection of Laura Berg, Howard Dobson and Tairia Flowers as assistant coaches for the 2019 USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT). All three coaches have previous experience with the WNT program, having served as coaches within the program since the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Selected from the USA Softball WNT Coaching Pool, they will join Head Coach Ken Erikse in leading the WNT in their continued preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with select tour stops and international competitions in the 2019 season.
Berg has been involved with USA Softball as both an athlete and coach. As a player, Berg is one of four women who hold three Olympic Gold Medals. Considered to be one of the greatest outfielders to ever play the game, Berg helped the United States to a Gold Medal at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and also holds an Olympic Silver Medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In addition to competing in four Olympic Games, Berg also played in four World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championships and three Pan American Championships, all of which were Gold Medal finishes.
Berg joined the WNT coaching staff in 2012 and has helped lead the Red, White and Blue to two WBSC World Championship Silver Medals and one Gold Medal and a Silver at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Berg also has previous experience with the Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) program, serving as the Head Coach for the 2017 JWNT that earned Gold at the WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship (JWWC) in Clearwater, Fla. and as an Assistant Coach for the 2013 JWNT that earned a Silver Medal at the 2013 WBSC JWWC in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
“I am really excited and honored to be a part of USA Softball this summer,” said Berg. “Coach Eriksen is a mentor of mine, and I look forward to working with and learning from him and this staff.”
Dobson is making his eighth appearance as an Assistant Coach for the WNT program after serving on the coaching staff since 2012. In his tenure with USA Softball, Dobson has contributed to two WBSC World Championship Gold Medal finishes and one Silver Medal in addition to a Silver Medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
At the collegiate level, Dobson has held an Assistant Coach position at LSU since June of 2011. Since taking the reins of the Tiger offense, Dobson has helped produce some of the most prolific hitting teams in program history.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of such a prestigious program,” said Dobson. “There is no greater honor than getting to wear ‘USA’ across your chest. I look forward to working with this elite team of individuals as they work toward winning Gold in the 2019 season. Thank you to the Women’s National Team Selection Committee and to Head Coach Ken Eriksen for allowing me to be a member of the Team USA coaching staff.”
Flowers, a two-time Olympian, rounds out the coaching staff for the 2019 WNT. As a player on the WNT, Flowers helped the United States to a perfect record and the Gold Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and to a Silver Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also won Gold Medals at the 2002 and 2006 WBSC Women’s World Championships, the 2003 and 2007 Pan American Games, and the 2001 U.S. Cup.
Following the conclusion of her playing career, Flowers took her talents to the WNT coaching pool where she has served in a variety of roles since the 2011 season. She was also a member of coaching staffs that lead the WNT to the 2011 Pan American Games Gold Medal in Guadalajara, Mexico and a Silver Medal at the 2012 WBSC Women’s World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Flowers also led the 2015 and 2013 JWNT programs that earned Gold and Silver at the WBSC JWWC, respectively.
“It's always a privilege to be a part of USA Softball,” said Flowers. “We have such an amazing group of athletes, not only on the field but off it. With that type of talent, you can’t help but grow as a person and coach. I feel fortunate to help this team train and prepare as we get ready for the 2019 season.”