Chowan hires softball coach

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MURFREESBORO, N.C.—Mandi Balduf has been hired as Chowan University’s head softball coach.

Director of Athletics Dennis Helsel announced the hiring of Balduf, who comes to Chowan with five years of collegiate coaching experience. This will be her first stint as a head coach after serving the past three seasons as the first assistant at Tiffin University.

“I am excited about the hiring of Mandi. The search committee did a great job in her hire. Her experiences as an assistant coach with some very successful softball programs have prepared her to lead this softball program in a new direction,” Helsel said. “She is a great addition to our coaching staff.”

Balduf embarks on her first year as a head coach but has been an assistant at several successful programs, most notably at Tiffin University. Balduf was hired in August 2004 by Tiffin University, where she helped the Dragons to three consecutive American Mideast Conference North Titles and two consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances. In 2006 the Dragons posted a 57-11 record while also winning the Region IX Championship of the NAIA tournament. This past season the Dragons finished 37-11 and 20th in the NAIA national rankings.

They also defended their 2006 Region IX NAIA title.

Along with her coaching duties at Tiffin, Balduf also served as a graduate admissions representative and worked to receive her master’s degree in business administration.

Tiffin’s head coach “trusted me as an assistant coach,” Balduf said. “I was able to be hands-on in all aspects of the program from fund-raising to recruiting to on-the-field coaching. My experiences with Tiffin … have prepared me for this position at Chowan, and I am very excited to be here.”

Prior to being hired at Tiffin, Balduf served as a graduate assistant softball coach for the University of South Dakota Balduf spent one season at USD, where she helped manage all aspects of on-the-field coaching under the direction of the head coach.

Balduf graduated from Tiffin University in 2002 with a bachelor of arts degree in sport management. At Tiffin she was a four-year starter for the softball team and helped the Dragons to a 2002 AMC Conference Championship. She was a two-time NAIA Academic All-American while at Tiffin.

After graduation from Tiffin, Balduf moved to Kentucky, where she went to work as a volunteer in the AmeriCorp: Athletes in Service program. She spent more than 1,700 hours working with inner-city youth in Lexington while also volunteering as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky.

“When I stepped on campus at Chowan, I felt at home. I felt comfortable. I am eager to get the players back into the game here. It is my intention to not only grow these athletes into players but also into students — and, more importantly, into good people,” said Balduf on her acceptance of the softball position.

Balduf is a native of Ohio and grew up in the Toledo area. She worked to earn graduate hours in athletic administration while at USD and completed her MBA at Tiffin in 2006.