EIU Announces Three Finalists For Women's Softball Coaching Position


Published on July 16 2013 8:07 am
Last Updated on July 16 2013 8:07 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois Director of Athletics Barbara Burke has announced the three finalists for the women’s head softball coaching position with all candidates set to interview on campus this week.

Kate Stake, Angie Nicholson and Al Thomas will be available to meet with members of the public Tuesday, July 16, Wednesday, July 17 and Friday, July 19 in the EIU Athletic Academic Center.  Stake’s session will be Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.   Nicholson’s session will be Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.  Thomas session will be Friday at 12 p.m.

The public forums are open to all fans.  Media members may attend and take still photographers.  No digital recording via video camera is permitted.

Stake is currently an assistant coach at Hofstra University where she helped coach the team to a 46-13 record this past season including a No. 25 ranking in the final national poll.  Hofstra’s staff was named the NFCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year.  From 2009-12 Stake worked as an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy West Point where she helped the program set four single season records as the hitting coach.  Stake spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois in 2007-09 after one season as a graduate assistant at EIU.  Stake played collegiate softball at Illinois State.

Nicholson is currently the head coach at Cleveland State University where she has served in that role since 2007.  Nicholson has coached the team to two regular season Horizon League Championships in 2008 and 2010 while winning the Horizon League Tournament in 2009.  Twice she was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year.  Nicholson was the head coach for one season at Butler University in 2006.  Nicholson’s first coaching stop was as the head coach at Cuyahoga Community College from 2000-04 with her 2004 team finishing 6th in the NJCAA ranks.  From there Nicholson coached two seasons at NAIA member Ursuline College where she improved the team from three wins to 25 wins during her two year tenure.  Nicholson played collegiate softball at Cleveland State.

Thomas is currently the head coach at Shorter University where he has built a dominant NAIA program in the last eight seasons including beginning the transition to NCAA Division II in 2013.  Thomas has won 366 career games with seven straight years of 45 or more victories.  His 2012 team won the NAIA College World Series in its last full season competing as an NAIA member.  His teams placed 5th and 7th at the 2010 and 2011 NAIA College World Series.  In 2013 he coached Shorter to the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference regular season championship.  The team competed in the NCCAA Championships placing second in the nation as they are a provisional NCAA Division II member.   He is a graduate of Berry College.

EIU won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title last season and is set to return all but three players from that championship squad.