2012 Speaker Bios – Softball


The Pennsylvania Baseball & Softball Coaches Clinic takes tremendous pride in the quality of speakers that present to our attendees each year. We conduct extensive research and recruit individuals that come highly recommended as clinicians. We strive to to make our roster of speakers a blend of successful veteran coaches along with some young “rising stars” of the coaching profession. As we celebrate our 26th annual clinic, we thank all of our loyal attendees and look forward to providing the coaching community with an excellent clinc in the years to come.

 DR. JOANNE GRAF- Florida State University

After leading the Florida State women’s softball team for 30 years, Dr. Graf retired in 2008 as the sports all-time leader in wins with 1,437. Dr. Graf’s resume includes, three 60-win seasons, 12 50-win campaigns and nine 40-win marks. During her tenure, the Seminoles never had a losing season. The 1975-graduate of Florida State collected ACC Coach of the Year accolades six times. Only one other coach in conference history has won the honor multiple times. She was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2005, university officials renamed the softball stadium “JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex.” A former president of the Florida Collegiate Athletic Association and past member of numerous NCAA and NFCA committees, Graf earned her doctorate from FSU in athletic administration in 1992.

Dr. JoAnne Graf’s 2012 Topics:

  • Developing Team Leaders, Team Chemistry, and Motivating Players
  • What College Coaches Look for in Recruiting Players
  • Coaching the Championship Game
  • Drills Session: Hitting Drills FSU Style
  • Drills Session: Team Drills That Make Practice Game Like

JAMES DEFEO – Mercer University

After serving 11 years at LSU with legendary coach Yvette Girouard, second all time on the women’s softball coaches’ win list, DeFeo will be the new head coach at Mercer University in 2012. A two-time member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association South Region Coaching Staff of the Year, DeFeo worked with the hitters and outfielders and served as a recruiter and scout. During his time at LSU, the team never had a losing season. They finished last season with a 40-18 record en route to the program’s 13th NCAA Regional appearance. Prior to joining Girouard’s staff, DeFeo was a graduate assistant at Southern Miss in 1999 when the Golden Eagles became the first, first-year program to advance to the Women’s College World Series. DeFeo has coaching experience at nearly every level of fastpitch softball, including Under-12, Under-16, 18 and Under and Women’s Major.

  James DeFeo’s 2012 Topics:

  • Primetime Offense: Mental Game and Approach
  •  Developing Discipline at the Plate
  • Hitting Mechanics: Problems and Solutions
  • Drill Session: Short Game and Slap Hitting Drills

ROBIN PETRINI – Penn State University

Since taking over at Penn State in 1997, Petrini has turned the Nittany Lions into a national contender. In just her second season, PSU posted its first 30-win season in nearly a decade and a berth in the Big Ten Tournament. For her efforts, she was named Big Ten Co- Coach of the Year. Since then, Petrini’s teams have recorded eight more 30-win seasons, including a 39-17 campaign in 2006, which set the school record for victories in a season. While in Happy Valley, she has produced 33 All-Big Ten performers, 94 Academic All-Conference players and multiple National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Americans. Prior to her time at Penn State, Petrini coached at Northwestern University and Brigham Young University. In her playing days, she helped lead Utah State University to a national championship in 1980 and 1981. In 2003, she was inducted into the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame, which also includes the likes of Tom Brady and John Madden.

Robin Petrini’s 2012 Topics:

  • 1st & 3rd: Offense, Defense and Secondary Plays
  • Incorporating the Short Game Into Your Offensive Attack
  • Improving Your Middle Infield Play
  • Drill Session: A Potpourri of PSU’s Favorite Drills

DENISE DAVIS – Planet Fastpitch

The founder and owner of Planet Fastpitch, located in Uxbridge Massachusetts, Davis and her staff train over 1000 players and coaches each year. Committed to personalized attention, Planet Fastpitch offers innovative instruction in all softball skills. During her playing days at Rutgers, Davis earned numerous individual accolades including Atlantic 10 All-Conference, Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference and All-Northeast Region Honors. She also helped Rutgers claim an Atlantic 10 Championship and a berth in the NCAA Regional tournament. In addition, Davis also played for the Topton VIP’s earning First Team All-American Honors at the Women’s Major Fastpitch Nationals. As a coach, Davis was an assistant at the University of Rhode Island for six years. She also served as a consultant for Boston University, Bryant University and the United States Coast Guard Academy. Along with her duties at Planet Fastpitch, she is currently camp coordinator for the Elaine Sortino Softball School at UMass and pitching coach for a roster of local college pitchers

Denise Davis’ 2012 Topics:

  • A Close Up Look: Key Points of RVP Pro Model Pitchers
  • Pitching Mechanics: Common Problems and Solutions
  • Plate Strategy: Set Her Up, Sit Her Down
  • Drills 1: Ten Pitching Drills Using a 4X6 Piece of Lumber
  • Drills 2: Ten Drills to Integrate Pitching with Dynamic Strength Training

CRAIG COLEMAN – Robert Morris University

The longest tenured coach at Robert Morris University, Coleman also serves as the university’s director of athletics. A native of Philadelphia, Coleman turned around a perennial losing program into NEC champions. Prior to his arrival in 1991, the Colonials posted a 19-45 mark in the previous three seasons. In 21 seasons since, the RMU softball team has collected over 500 wins, numerous conference championships and a top-25 ranking in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association. It was the first top-25 ranking, regardless of sport, in RMU history. Prior to his appointment as head coach at RMU, Coleman compiled a record of 359-158 in 16 seasons coaching summer softball, most recently with the Pittsburgh Patriots 18-and-under traveling fast-pitch team. He guided the Amateur Softball Association squad to three national tournaments in his final four years at the helm.

Craig Coleman’s 2012 Topics:

  • Psychological Aspects of Coaching For Success
  • Practice Organization: Getting the Most Out of Limited Time & Space
  • Team Offense: Generating Runs Without Power
  • Drill Session: Perfecting Your Team’s Base Running Skills

PAM NEWTON – All American Softball Club

For 20 years, Pam Newton’s All-American Softball Club in Southern California has been servicing league’s across the country with private lessons, team lessons, recruiting seminars, mental training seminars, speed and agility training and much more. The current coach of the California Lite 18U ASA travel team, also served as head coach for the USA Junior National Team. Newton was selected by the United States Olympic Committee as Developmental Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2003. In 2003, Pam led the U.S. Junior National Team to a gold medal at the Jr. Pan American Games in Mexico and a silver medal in the Jr. World Championships in China. As a player, she was an eight-time ASA All American, a U.S. World gold medalist, an All- Region selection at Cal State Fullerton and an All-League pick at Mt. San Antonio College. While at Mt. San Antonio College, she was also named Athlete of the Year.


Pam Newton’s 2012 Topics:

  • How to Develop the League’s Best Outfield
  • Winning With Infield Play: Developing the Infielder
  • A Conditioning Program for High School Softball Players (JAN – MAY)
  • Drill Session: The All American Softball Club Drill Package