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New coach steps up to the plate

By Jessica Earle
On October 11, 2018

The Eagles cheering on their teammates. PHOTO BY JEFF SIGMUND.

Eric Freese. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.

Kirkwood Community College has named Eric Frese as the new head softball coach, replacing Joe Yegge who served for 11 seasons. Coach Frese previously worked at UW-Platteville and at Clarke University as the head baseball coach. He was also Dubuque Hempstead’s assistant. 

Q: Where are you from? 

A: Norway, Iowa 

Q: Do you have any past experience coaching softball? 

A: I do, I was actually coach at the high school level for 12 years. So, I’ve had a baseball background and softball background. With over 20 years of experience, I felt like I was ready for the change and looking forward to softball. 

Q: What do you think you can do to improve on for next season? 

A: We have a good mix or returning players and a really nice freshman class, so we’re a little more athletic than last year. Looking forward to having a good mix of power and people who can run a little bit so that will help us out. 

Q: Do you have a favorite drill to make players do during warm ups or practices? 

A: We like to mix it up a lot. I think once players get used to doing the same thing over and over every day that things can get a little stagnant. One my favorite drill is to actually change it up, so they’re always changing what they’re doing. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about softball? 

A: It’s the offensive part of it. We play softball and it’s in the era of live bats and live balls right now. And it’s a fun game where anything can really happen really quickly offensively in the game and it takes one swing of the bat for the game to change and that’s what is exciting about it. 

Q: What is it like being the new softball coach? 

A: It’s exciting, the tradition of Kirkwood softball is been outstanding over the years. Just coming in and trying to keep up with what everyone has done here in the past and to keep the tradition rolling. 

Q: What is your favorite part about coaching softball? 

A: In general, just respecting the game, always playing hard, always hustling. The little things, we always wanna be good at the little things. Sometimes these can be ignored and we want our girls to respect the little things cause that’s usually what can make the difference in a one-run game. 

Q: What has been your favorite experience so far since starting at KCC? 

A: Just in general the feel and the culture of the campus here at Kirkwood. Everybody has been so friendly and so outgoing, and that it’s exciting to come to work every day because of the atmosphere on this campus makes it that way. 

Q: Who has been an inspiration in your life? 

A: To be able to come back to the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area   after being gone for over 20 years. Just to be around family again has always been a goal to be able to do that again at this point in my career has been a blessing.”

Q: Tell us a little about yourself outside of softball coaching.  

A: I have two kids, a senior in high school and a nine-year-old daughter. And that’s what really peaked my interest in getting full time into the softball world, because I’ve done the baseball thing with my son over the years. Now to be able to get into the softball world and knowing that my daughter is nine and hopefully that she has a lot of years in softball coming up and that I can be more in tuned with her. That’s a once in a lifetime experience. 

Q: Did you know at a young age you wanted to coach sports? 

A: I come from probably the best baseball town in the state of Iowa and I’ve always have known that it was always important and then the bug hit me right away as a freshman in college. I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I was fortunate and lucky enough to be able to do that. 

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give for aspiring 

athletes? 

A: It goes really fast. Enjoy every second of what you’re doing because you’re going get to a point in your life where you can’t do it anymore. So, enjoy every little second of it because it’s going to be gone before you know it.  

#14 swings for the fence.PHOTO BY JEFF SIGMUND.

 

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