By David Cohn
New softball head coach Rachel Hanson has officially hired one of her assistants from her time at Dartmouth, Dorian Shaw, to be an assistant coach for Stanford softball. The hire was announced by GoStanford.com on Thursday.
Shaw had a distinguished playing career at the University of Michigan and was an NFCA All-America second team selection as a junior in 2010. In earning All-America honors, Shaw hit .362 with 60 RBI, while tying a single-season record for home runs with 21 homers.
For her four-year career at Michigan, the Burke, Virginia native posted a .315 batting average with 58 home runs, 178 RBI, a .663 slugging percentage and a .501 on-base percentage. Shaw also earned recognition for her accomplishments in the classroom by either the Michigan Athletics Department or the Big Ten Conference in each of her four seasons. Shaw graduated from Michigan in 2011 with a degree from the School of Kinesiology.
After graduation, Shaw was the fourth overall selection in the 2011 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft. Shaw won a title with the Chicago Bandits in 2011 as a rookie; after taking a year off from professional softball to pursue coaching opportunities, Shaw signed with the NY/NJ Comets for the 2013 season.
In addition to her experiences as a professional softball player, Shaw also served as an assistant coach at George Mason University in 2012 and 2013 before joining coach Hanson’s staff at Dartmouth in 2014.
In announcing the hire, Hanson released the following statement about Shaw: “I’m thrilled to bring Dorian with me, as she’ll bring a passion for the game, a great competitive background and a unique ability to connect with Stanford softball players both present and future. She also brings a familiarity with my systems, which will allow us to jump right in to the coaching side at Stanford.”
Former Stanford head coach John Rittman will take over as the associate head coach at the University of Kansas. As Stanford’s second head coach in program history, Rittman elevated Stanford softball to new heights, leading the Cardinal to the postseason in 16 out of his 18 seasons on the Farm.
While at Stanford, Rittman led the Card to seven NCAA regional titles and two Women’s College World Series berths. Stanford also won a Pac-10 conference title in 2005 under Rittman’s leadership.
Widely recognized for his ability to coach hitters, Rittman will work to help boost a Jayhawk offense that finished last in the Big 12 in batting average with .288 mark in 2014. Kansas also finished second-to-last in home runs and runs scored in the conference.
Kansas finished with a 34-23 overall record in 2014 despite its struggles on offense, as a dominant pitching rotation helped lead the Jayhawks to the postseason for the first time since 2006. The Jayhawks were eliminated in the NCAA regional round after consecutive losses to Nebraska and Missouri.
Sixth-year Jayhawk head coach Megan Smith released a statement to kuathletics.com to confirm Rittman’s hire.
“John Rittman is one of the most well-respected coaches in our game,” Smith said. “He has had such a successful career and we are excited to have his expertise and experience to help us continue to build success at Kansas. He will come in and make an immediate impact working with our hitters and outfielders and his recruiting experience and connections will be invaluable to our program. His excellent reputation as an elite softball coach is matched by his impeccable character. Our entire staff welcomes John, Lorie, Justin and Jake to the Jayhawk family.”
Rittman also released a statement through the Kansas Athletics Department concerning his new position.
“I’m extremely excited to join Megan Smith and the KU softball program,” Rittman said. “I’m looking forward to assisting and developing our student-athletes on the field, in the classroom and in the community. I think Coach Smith is a true leader and an outstanding coach. I’m really looking forward to contributing to the success of the program. I saw the new softball facility, and it is absolutely amazing. It’s a very exciting time to be joining KU softball. I’m really, really looking forward to getting out there and getting started.
“I was very fortunate to spend 18 years at Stanford, but to have the opportunity to move to Kansas and help contribute to the program’s success is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Contact David Cohn at dmcohn ‘at’ stanford.edu.