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Fastpitch Coach: Q&A
Connie Clark, Head Softball Coach, University of Texas.
Overall won-lost record at present position: 45-17
Previous Softball Head or assistant softball coaching positions: Assistant coach, Florida State, five years.
Other accomplishments: Won national championship in 1986 as a player at Cal State Fullerton. Assistant coach three years at Women's College World Series, head coach one year at WCWS (Texas, 1998).
Undergraduate Alma Mater and year graduated: Cal State Fullerton, 1987.
Postgraduate Alma Mater: Florida State University, 1994.
Softball playing career highlights: Three-time national champions, Broderick Award winner, 1987.
Q: When did you know you wanted to coach fastpitch softball and how did you get started?
CC: I knew once I began working clinics at CSUF. JoAnne Graf called me and I was lucky enough to be offered the FSU job at a young age.
Q: Who are some of the coaches and non-coaches you learned the most from and what did you learn?
CC: My pitching coach, Dave Smith, taught me to be more assertive and a little mean. My parents taught me persistence.
Q: What do you think you do best as a coach?
CC: I am organized, which allows for more production in several areas. I respect opinions and input from my staff and players.
Q: What would you change, if anything, about the recruiting process?
CC: Recruits should trade places with college coaches so they might understand our decisions.
Q: If there is one rule or procedure change you would like to see your national governing body adopt, what would it be?
CC: That we (NCAA) could oversee the olympic process instead of ASA.
Q: When recruiting, what's the first thing you look for in a player? What's the second thing?
CC: First, does she fit our specific needs for position, student and type of personality? Second, athleticism, arm strength and foot speed.
Q: What makes for a successful season?
CC: Fulfilling potential of your specific group for that given year.
Q: What do you think was the best coaching job you ever did?
CC: Splitting pitchers in a championship game, which allowed us to win the title.
Q: What was your greatest moment as a coach?
CC: Each time I see someone "get it" or execute something you just taught them.
Q: What was your worst moment as a coach?
CC: Not fulfilling potential in a team that should have gone farther.
Q: What is funniest/strangest/most memorable experience you and your team have had on the road?
CC: We have had several, but probably the time I didn't get my suitcase and the team put together a very funny care package and brought it to my hotel room. We laughed at the clothes they had me put on and we stayed up a while and told jokes and laughed.
Q: What do you love most about coaching?
CC: The rapport you build with the team and individuals. Seeing athletes "grow up" during their college career.
Q: What do you love least about coaching?
CC: Very time-consuming. I am married to my job.
Q: Please complete this sentence: My coaching career has been successful if the majority of my players_____________.
CC: Fulfill their potential as athletes and as people.
Q: Who was the best player (position or pitcher) you’ve ever coached against?
CC: Jennifer Lizama, Nebraska, second base. She competes every single pitch, intense.
Q: Which is the best team you’ve ever coached against ?
CC: Arizona in 1995. They were tough to pitch to.
Q: If you could go anywhere in the world for a week, all expenses paid, where would you go?
CC: Somewhere with a beach or water.
Q: What haven't you done yet in your life that you still want to do?
CC: Win a national championship as a coach. Do something completely out of the coaching arena.
Q: What advice would you give to young people who want to coach softball?
CC: Be a graduate assistant, student assistant or a volunteer to get a true feel for it all.
Q: If you weren't coaching softball, what would you be doing?
CC: Advertising, interior design.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
CC: Against All Odds, Patch Adams.
Q: What is your favorite music?
CC: Old rock and roll, most of it.
Q: What is your favorite food?