COACHING STAFF

PETE D'AMOUR

HEAD COACH

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced on May 31, 2018, the hiring of head softball coach Pete D’Amour.

D’Amour joins the Hokies after two seasons as the head coach at Kennesaw State, where he led the Owls to a 79-37 record and two postseason appearances. Before taking over the Kennesaw State program in 2017, he earned a reputation as one of the nation’s premier recruiters during his 10-year tenure as assistant coach at the University of Missouri, a perennial NCAA tournament participant.

D’Amour coached Kennesaw State to the 2018 Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships en route to the program’s first NCAA Regional appearance since transitioning to the Division I level in 2006, as the Owls finished the year with a 39-17 record. In his inaugural year as head coach at Kennesaw State in 2017, he guided the Owls to a 40-20 overall record and a berth in the National Invitational Softball Championship.

Prior to accepting the head coaching job at Kennesaw State, D’Amour spent a decade at Missouri as an assistant coach, serving as associate head coach for his final two seasons in 2015-16. During his tenure in Columbia, the Tigers qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of his 10 seasons on the staff, reaching five NCAA super regionals and earning three consecutive trips to the Women’s College World Series from 2009-11.

Kennesaw State went 39-17 and 14-3 in the ASUN this past season and earned a No. 3 seed in the Tallahassee Regional. D’Amour was named ASUN Coach of the Year and seven Owls earned ASUN all-conference accolades, including ASUN Pitcher of the Year Alley Cutting and ASUN Freshman of the Year Patricia Awald. Awald was one of 25 finalists up for NFCA National Freshman of the Year. Kennesaw State entered this year’s NCAA tournament ranked No. 34 in the RPI, a program-best, while competing in arguably the best mid-major conference in the country.

In D’Amour’s first season at Kennesaw State, the Owls went 40-20, the program’s first ever 40-win season, and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Softball Championship. The Owls peaked at No. 47 in the RPI and led the ASUN in all major offensive categories, including batting average (.303), runs scored (302), hits (505), doubles (83), triples (19), home runs (45) and slugging percentage (.456). D’Amour also helped Courtney Sutter and seven other student-athletes earn ASUN postseason accolades.

The Monrovia, Maryland native made a name for himself nationally as a staunch recruiter and a developer of pitchers and catchers in his decade on the coaching staff at Missouri. D’Amour, who called pitches for 11 no-hitters with the Tigers, mentored 11 NCAA Division I All-Americans, two SEC Freshmen of the Year, three conference pitchers of the year, a national earned run average leader and a defensive player of the year. The Tigers won two Big 12 championships in 2009 and 2012 and finished in the top three of the SEC twice thanks in large part to D’Amour’s connections in the fertile recruiting grounds of California. In two seasons as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, D’Amour put together FloSoftball’s third-ranked recruiting class in 2017, and the Tigers went to back-to-back super regionals. D’Amour was a part of three coaching staffs that earned NFCA Midwest Staff of the Year honors.

D'Amour earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in business, English and history, and a master's degree in sports psychology from the University of Missouri. He started throwing underhand at the age of four while serving as batboy for his father's fast-pitch team. He played shortstop and pitched men's fast pitch for seven seasons, including three in the ISC Travel League and was the MVP of the NSA World Series in 2007. During his last ASA National Tournament, D'Amour hit .500 (7-for-14) with three home runs. He also played one year of college baseball at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, where he was an infielder, in addition to a one-year stint at Frostburg State.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“Not only did Virginia Tech get one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever played for, its athletic department gained one of the best people I’ve ever known. I can’t wait to see the positive impact Pete has on this program and his student-athletes. If it’s anything like my experience with him as my coach, these student athletes will walk away from their four years at VT and be the best people and players they can be! Virginia Tech is lucky to have him!”
– Chelsea Thomas, three-time All-American at Missouri

"I’ve been playing softball for 20 years and Pete is easily one of my favorite coaches. Pete can coach every single part of the game well, as well as develop great relationships with his players, and not many coaches out there can do that. Virginia Tech made a great hire and I’m excited for Pete and the future of the program."
– Sami Fagan, 2016 NPF Rookie of the Year, JWSL player for Japan's Honda Reverta, All-American at Missouri

"To say Virginia Tech is lucky is a complete understatement. Coach Pete turned our team from barely making the conference tournament to winning our first-ever conference championship, which led to Kennesaw State’s first NCAA Regional appearance. For me personally, he altered my style of hitting from slapping to power hitting. Coach Pete transformed me into a player that could make a difference on and off the field! The last two seasons of my college career with Coach Pete as head coach were definitely the highlight of my softball campaign. He enhanced my love for the game, and I will cherish it forever. Thank you, Coach Pete."
– Noelle Winkles, Second-Team All-ASUN at Kennesaw State

"Coach Pete put the KSU softball program on the map. He helped me take my game to a level I never imagined I could play at. I will forever be thankful for him stepping into my life as my coach for two years. I wish I could have played for him longer. Virginia Tech is so lucky to have him!”
– Lauren Bennett, Kennesaw State

KIRIN KUMAR

ASSISTANT COACH

Kirin Kumar was hired on June 27, 2018, and enters her second year at Virginia Tech as an assistant coach.

Her first season in Blacksburg in 2019 was a highly successful one, helping Tech earn an ACC regular-season title and Coastal Division crown. Specifically working with the infielders defensively, Kumar tutored two all-conference players in third baseman Kelsey Bennett, who earned ACC Freshman of the Year, and first baseman Jayme Bailey and three NFCA all-region (Mid-Atlantic) selections with Bennett, Bailey and shortstop Caitlyn Nolan.

Under her tutelage, the Hokies had the fourth-best fielding percentage (.969) and committed only 47 errors, the fewest in school history.

No stranger to the league, Kumar came to Blacksburg following a two-year stint at NC State, helping with hitting with the head coach and being in charge of the team’s defense.Before her time in Raleigh, Kumar was an assistant coach at Tulsa.

She previously served as an assistant on TU from 2006-10. She helped lead the Golden Hurricane to their first American Athletic Conference Tournament title in 2016, defeating a pair of ranked opponents to clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Under her guidance, three Tulsa players were named to the 2016 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Central Region Team, four to the American Athletic All-Conference first-team, one player on the second-team and two on the all-rookie team. The Golden Hurricane posted the second-best batting average in the conference with a .289 clip and had the fewest strikeouts her final year in the Sooner State.

In 2015, Kumar helped Tulsa finish the year atop the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored and home runs in addition to several other categories. With her assistance, Julie Kernen set the single-season record for runs batted in with 59 and a total of six players hit .300 or better during the year.

Prior to rejoining the Tulsa softball program, she was an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech for a season, guiding the squad to a 13-3 record in its last 16 contests. From 2012-13, Kumar was the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at WKU.

She helped the Hilltoppers earn their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2013, highlighted by winning the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title. With her leadership, the Tops tallied the No. 1 defense in the league, improving the team fielding percentage from .940 to .985.

Kumar began her coaching career at Tulsa in 2005 and remained with the Golden Hurricane until 2010 before accepting a position at North Carolina. She led Tulsa to its first NCAA Regional in 2006 and to the program's first NCAA at-large bid in 2008.

Under her instruction, Lauren Lindsay became Tulsa's first All-American in 2010, compiling a batting average of .377 with 18 home runs, the most in a single season for the program.

The Santa Ana, California native played collegiately at Georgia Tech and was a four-year letterwinner for the Yellow Jackets. Kumar saw action in 251 games, which was the second most in program history when she graduated.

She compiled a batting average of .322 during her senior season and was selected to the ACC All-Tournament Team in 2005. Kumar was a part of Georgia Tech's first two ACC championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament all four years.

 

DOUG GILLIS

ASSISTANT COACH

Doug Gillis was hired on August 10, 2018, and enters his second year at Virginia Tech as an assistant coach.

Gillis transformed the Hokies’ pitching staff into one of the best in the nation in 2019, boasting two pitchers with 20-plus wins, the only team in the nation to say so, and finished second in the country for shutouts with 22. Those two right-handers, Carrie Eberle and Keely Rochard, would go on to be named first-team All-ACC, with both owning under 1.85 ERAs.

Eberle, who also picked up NFCA All-Region (Mid-Atlantic), was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year, marking Tech’s fourth in school history. She did so behind a 25-8 record and a 164-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Rochard also had a fine year in the circle, breaking the school record for winning percentage (.880) with a 22-3 record and throwing two no-hitters and Tech’s first-ever perfect game against a ranked opponent (then-No. 20/17 JMU).

Under Gillis’ direction, the Hokies led the ACC in shutouts (22), fewest earned runs allowed (104) and fewest home runs allowed (20), while being second for ERA (1.98), fewest runs allowed (149), walks (108), strikeouts (359) and opponent batting average (.212).

Prior to his time at Tech, Gillis served in the same position at Kennesaw State for two years with head coach Pete D’Amour, overseeing the pitchting staff.

He was instrumental in the development of Owls’ pitcher Alley Cutting, who earned Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) Pitcher of the Year. Cutting also was tabbed first-team all-conference and NFCA All-South Region and put together a perfect game and no-hitter apiece during her redshirt freshman year in 2017 on her way to winning ASUN Freshman of the Year. She sits in the top-10 all-time list in nine categories.

Gillis also developed Abigail Green inside the circle her final two years playing for Kennesaw State. Green earned second-team all-conference honors and was an NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete in 2017. She posted one of the best pitching seasons in Owls history in 2018, owning 8.95 strikeouts per seven innings mark, the third-best in program history for an individual season.

Under Gillis’ watch, the Owls led the ASUN in total strikeouts (370) this past season, which was 61 more than the next best in the league. The pitching staff also surrendered the fewest walks in the conference.

Prior to his two-year stint with Kennesaw State, Gillis spent eight years on the staff at Missouri. He spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons as head pitching coach after serving the previous six campaigns as director of pitching for the Tigers.

In addition to his role at Missouri, Gillis founded the Gillis USA Softball Training Academy in 1986 where he mentored seven USA Team members, three USA Team Gold Medalists, 20 collegiate All-Americans and eight players who pitched in the Women’s College World Series.

Before his time in Columbia, Gillis served as an associate head coach at Saginaw Valley State from 1986-1991, and in 1989 helped lead the Cardinals to the NAIA national championship.

Having a knack for developing elite pitchers in the college ranks, Gillis has developed five different conferences’ Pitcher of the Year selections, including the likes of the ACC, ASUN, Big 12, Big Ten and SEC. He also has produced three PGF national championship pitchers, 62 high school state championship pitchers and 430 high school all-state pitchers throughout his career.

During Gillis’ tenure as a coach, he’s made three Women’s College World Series appearances and eight Super Regional showings.

An accomplished fastpitch softball player himself, Gillis is a six-time USA Team member in three different decades. He has won a New Zealand provincial national champion, serving as an assistant coach for Auckland.

He is in the top-10 all-time list for International Softball Congress victories, which is the highest level of softball in the world, the top-five list for USA Softball men’s major division national tournament victories and was named to the International Softball Congress All-World 2010 Team, being the only American pitcher selected.

A two-time USA Softball men’s major division national champion, Gillis won a gold medal in 2002 on the USA National Team during the Pan-American Championships and a gold medal in 1998 at the U.S. Olympic Festival. He also won the MVP pitcher award at the 1995 International National Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Accustom to other parts of the world, he has pitched internationally in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand and the Czech Republic.

 

ANDREW STOVER

VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT COACH

Stover enters his first season with the Virginia Tech softball program, joining the Hokies in September 2019.

“Andrew has a unique story and took an unconventional route to Tech,” Tech coach Pete D’Amour said. “He is one of the few coaches in the country that played both college baseball and men’s fastpitch softball.

“Andrew comes to Blacksburg having recently been a successful high school baseball coach, but the most admirable aspect of his backstory is his six years of serving our country in the US Army. He hasn’t just been a coach, he’s been in the real world, and his experience will help our program in many ways.”

Stover comes most recently from Northside High School, located in Roanoke, Virginia, coaching the baseball team for four seasons. He worked with all positions with the Vikings.

At Tech, Stover will work with the outfielders, which brings back two starters in Darby Trull, who posted the best batting average (.406) in school history last season, and Al Velazquez, the school record holder for most runs scored in a year (50).

"I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach here at Virginia Tech," Stover said. "I’m excited about our upcoming season and am looking forward to helping the Hokies win.”

Stover worked in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and worked his way up to Assistant Battalion Armorer.

 

WHITNEY DAVIS SHOWALTER

DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS

Former Hokie standout Whitney Davis Showalter is currently in her sixth season on the Virginia Tech softball coaching staff as the director of softball operations. Showalter plays a key role in all phases of the Virginia Tech softball program as she serves and leads the coaching staff in multiple areas, including donor relations, alumni relations, recruiting visits, team travel and equipment. She is also the liaison between the program and the business office, facilities, marketing, strategic communications and the student-athlete development departments.

Showalter has been instrumental in the creation and direction of large-scale events such as alumni weekends, meet and greets and the annual Leadoff Banquet with donors. Another event developed by Showalter is the program’s annual Hit-A-Thon, a home run derby style service project that serves as a team fundraiser and a community engagement event.

She plans all aspects of team travel from hotels, flights and buses, as well as team meals and per diem. Showalter also serves as the financial manager for the program in respects to team budget for travel, recruiting and apparel. Showalter spearheads the partnership between TeamWorks, a communications and operations database, and the Hokie softball program. As the marketing liaison, she works with the marketing department to successfully plan promotions for all home games at Tech Softball Park. She also runs yearly postgame clinics that have seen almost 400 kids over three years. Showalter also played a vital role in hosting the 2015 ACC Softball Tournament at Tech Softball Park, as well as an integral player in the creation of Virginia Tech softball’s new Indoor Batting Facility.

Off the field, Showalter was re-elected for a second term as the softball representative in the Virginia Tech Monogram Club. The Monogram Club is an exclusive 21-person board made up of former Virginia Tech student-athletes that seek to honor and engage former and current letterwinners through networking and fellowship events, in order to celebrate the traditions and promote the value of the Virginia Tech student-athlete experience. She serves on the Women’s Initiative Committee for Virginia Tech Athletics and has been a volunteer photographer for the department in the past. Showalter also serves as a Membership Ambassador for Women Leaders in College Sports, formerly known as NACWAA, and completed their Institute for Administrative Advancement in 2017. She also volunteers with the First Impressions Team at her church, Blue Ridge Church, in Christiansburg, Virginia.

Showalter has plenty of ties to the softball program as both a former player and coach. In two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach, she helped pave the way for successful 2012 and 2013 campaigns, ones that saw the Hokies reach the NCAA Regional finals both times. Both years she was on the staff, the coaching staff earned NFCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

A native of Tazewell, Virginia, Showalter batted .318 in her final season and started 189 games for her career. She tallied 24 doubles and 49 RBIs wearing the maroon and orange. Showalter committed just two errors in 122 chances and had 10 outfield assists during her career. She is a member of the 2007 & 2008 back-to-back ACC Championship teams and also competed in the 2008 Women’s College World Series. Showalter was inducted into her alma mater's, Tazewell High School, Hall of Fame in 2014 along with Tech Women’s golf Head Coach Carol Green Robertson.

Showalter graduated in 2011 with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology from Virginia Tech and completed her master's in education, curriculum and instruction from VT in 2013. In 2019 she earned an MBA in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin Business School.

She was previously employed at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and also spent time in the broadcast booth, calling several Virginia Tech games for ESPN3, as well as the entire 2014 NCAA Division II National Tournament for the NCAA.com.

Showalter resides in Blacksburg with her husband, David, who is the Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services at VCOM.

 

LEXI DENNY

RECRUITING ASSISTANT