Metro State names Van Wetzinga coach
DENVER -- Metro State director of athletics Joan McDermott announced Annie Van Wetzinga as the new head softball coach Tuesday. Van Wetzinga spent the past three seasons at Upper Iowa after a three-year stint at Colorado School of Mines.
“Annie will undoubtedly bring back the winning tradition that we have become accustomed to in Metro State softball,” McDermott stated. “In both of her previous stops, she turned teams that previously struggled into consistent winners and we are excited to bring that to our university. Her familiarity with the state of Colorado and our conference will be invaluable. Most importantly, her student-athletes excel in the classroom and off the field.”
Van Wetzinga began her head coaching career at Colorado Mines in 2008 and she instantly was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and led the Orediggers to their first conference title with a school-record 38 wins. CSM continued to thrive under her, making its first NCAA tournament appearance in 2009, where it eliminated top-seed Metro State and produced the school's first two All-Americans, while topping the wins record again with 39. In her three years in Golden, Colo., her teams finished in the top 10 in Division II batting average twice and also finished in the top 10 in five other offensive categories, including No. 2 in doubles in 2009.
Van Wetzinga also quickly turned around the Peacocks at Upper Iowa. In her third season in 2013, Upper Iowa had its best record since joining Division II in 2005, going 28-16 overall and 15-7 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Peacocks were 20th in Division II in batting average and 10th in doubles. In her three years, she coached 19 academic all-NSIC players and six all-conference players, including the 2013 NSIC Freshman of the Year.
Prior to her time at Colorado Mines, Van Wetzinga spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana State and one year at St. Ambrose.
Van Wetzinga played four seasons at Central College, leading her team to the Division III national championship game in 2001 as a senior and earning National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Catcher of the Year honors, as well. She was twice named All-America and was a four-time all-region selection, while serving as team captain. Van Wetzinga earned her bachelor's degree from Central College in 2001 in general studies with an emphasis on exercise science and received her master's degree from Indiana State in 2007 in sport and recreation management.
“I want to thank Joan McDermott and the entire Metro State athletic department for this great opportunity,” Van Wetzinga stated. “I am very excited to become part of the university's winning tradition and to lead the softball program toward excellence."