Head Coach Heather Bruder
Contact information for Coach Bruder
Office phone: 419-358-3378
|Heather Bruder is entering her third season as head softball coach of the Bluffton Beavers. In just her second season at Bluffton, Coach Bruder guided the Beavers to a 25-17 overall record, including a 13-3 mark and share of the regular season championship in the HCAC. Following the 2008 campiagn, Bruder was named HCAC Coach of the Year. Bluffton's 25 wins were just one shy of tying the 2004 squad for the most ever, while the 13 HCAC victories broke the previous mark of 12 set in 2004.|
In her two seasons at Bluffton, the Beavers' batting average has risen 72 points from .238 to .310. Opponents batted 22 points lower in 2008 than they did in 2007, .247 compared to .269 a year ago. As a team, the 2008 edition of Bluffton University softball shattered school marks with 352 hits, 61 doubles, 20 home runs, 194 RBI and 230 runs scored.
Bruder graduated from Alma College in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. She earned her master of arts in sport administration from Central Michigan University in 2001.
During her softball career at Alma College, Bruder was an academic All-American three times while leading her teams to three straight MIAA titles from 1997-1999. As a senior captain, the outfielder was a member of the Alma squad which finished third at the NCAA Division III nationals.
After taking over a struggling program at Northwood University, Bruder turned the program into a national powerhouse in NCAA Division II softball. In 2005 after five straight losing seasons, the Timberwolves finished with a 34-14 overall record and their first ever GLIAC championship. Bruder was named GLIAC Coach of the Year and her team advanced to the finals of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship where it fell to Northern Kentucky, the number 1 team in the country.
She built on that success in 2006 as the Timberwolves won a school record 37 games and placed six players on All-GLIAC teams, including Lisa Shepard who earned first team All-Region honors during her junior and senior seasons. Northwood put together a 71-29 record during Bruder's final two seasons as head coach.
In addition to her success at Northwood, Bruder has served as an assistant softball coach for USA Athletes International. She organized trips to Belgium, Germany, Aruba and Sydney while directing team developmental clinics for international youth organizations.
Assistant Coach Paul Burnside
Contact information for Coach Burnside
Office phone: 419-358-3020
Paul Burnside was recently named the graduate assistant coach of the Bluffton University softball team. Burnside will join a program that tied for first place in the Heartland Conference, serving as pitching coach for the Beavers during the 2008-09 campaign.
A graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, Burnside earned his bachelor of science degree in conservation with a minor in business management from Kent State University in 1999.
Burnside was the head women's softball coach for the U.S. Air Force from 1991-94 and then coached numerous public school basketball and softball teams in the Akron area before founding the Summit Rage Organization in 2004. The Rage is a travel softball organization that has quickly made its mark in Ohio and as a national tournament qualifier.
|Burnside, who will be relocating to Bluffton, currently lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Lisa, three daughters and one son. He and Lisa are parents to Heather, 21, and three triplets (April, Lacy and Devin) who are 17 and will be seniors this year.|