July 19, 2010

Courtesy of Western Washington Athletics

Amy Suiter, who has NCAA Division I head coaching experience, is the new head softball coach at Western Washington University.  Making that announcement was Viking director of athletics Lynda Goodrich.

“Amy has an outstanding resume, and I believe that she is the right person to take our program to the next level,” said Goodrich.  “She’s had a variety of experiences both as a coach and teacher of the game.  Her educational background is outstanding and her passion for softball shines through.”

The 29-year-old Suiter, who coached at her alma mater Mount Vernon (Wash.) High School last spring, was the interim head coach at Texas Tech University in 2009 after three years as an assistant for the Red Raiders.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of helping the sport grow at Western and in this area,” said Suiter.  “I believe my strength is in developing players, and I plan to build a championship program while helping student athletes grow as both people and athletes.”

“The foundation of my program will be trust, discipline, accountability and taking care of the little things.  Our goal is to win conference championships and compete at the national stage, and this will come from adhering to those values.”

Suiter brings a wealth of experience to Western as both a player and coach at the major college level and as an established instructor in developing softball players.

Suiter (maiden name Hanson) attended the University of Washington where she was a catcher for the nationally ranked Huskies.  Suiter was the team captain as a junior and senior, team co-MVP as a junior, Golden Glove award winner as a senior, and most improved as a freshman.

Washington qualified for NCAA post-season play in each of Suiter’s four years there, participating in the College World Series in 2000 and 2003.

After graduating from Washington in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Suiter was co-owner of a softball/baseball academy in Redmond, Wash., for two years working with individuals and teams ranging from ages 8-18.

Suiter was named an assistant coach at Texas Tech in 2006.  She is currently working on a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on sports psychology.

Suiter, who officially begins her duties at Western on August 1, and husband Dustin, have a daughter, Haley, seven months.  A 1999 graduate of MVHS, Suiter was a four-year Skagit Valley Herald all-Area and all-league pick for Bulldogs.

Suiter becomes the fourth coach in the history of Western’s softball program which began in 1993.

The Vikings won the NAIA national championship in 1998, the first national title in school history in any sport.  They reached the NCAA II West Regional in 2003 and 2007.

Suiter replaces Lonnie Hicks, who resigned last May after nine seasons as Western’s coach.  The Vikings posted a 27-25 record in 2010 and placed third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings at 22-17.