Head Coach Heather Bruder
Contact information for Coach Bruder
Office phone: 419-358-3378
Heather Bruder is entering her eighth season as head softball coach of the Bluffton University softball team. In her third season at Bluffton, Coach Bruder guided the Beavers to a 30-13 record, shattering the previous school mark of 26 wins set by the 2004 squad. Bluffton has qualified for the four-team HCAC tournament in each of Bruder's seven years at the helm and the Beavers made it to day two of the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Since Bruder took over at Bluffton, the Beavers have posted an outstanding mark of 76-33 in Heartland Conference action.
In her first four seasons at Bluffton, the Beavers' batting average improved 64 points from .238 to .302. Opponents batted 46 points lower in 2009 than they did in 2007, .223 compared to .269 during her first season.
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.
Coach Bruder currently resides in Findlay, Ohio.
Assistant Coach Tiffany Buckmaster
Contact information for Coach Buckmaster
Office phone: 419-358-3020
Tiffany Buckmaster will be entering her second year as an assistant softball coach at Bluffton University during the 2013-14 school year. A four-year letterwinner for the Beavers, Buckmaster will team with mentor and seventh-year Head Coach Heather Bruder.
Buckmaster helped Bluffton qualify for the four-team Heartland Conference tournament during each of her four seasons with the Beavers, including the record setting 2009 campaign that saw Bluffton roll to a school-record 30 victories. The Beavers claimed a share of the HCAC regular season championship that year with Buckmaster playing in 38 games as a sophomore middle infielder.
Buckmaster has worked at the Doug Gillis Softball Academy alongside Doug Gillis and Eddie Kettlehut, members of the USA Men's Softball Team. In addition, she helped direct the Nike Nationwide Team Camp. Buckmaster recently served as an assistant at NCAA Division II national power Columbus State University, working with the outfielders and the slap hitters.
Buckmaster, who will reside in Bluffton, graduated in May 2011 with a degree in health and physical education. She will assist with recruiting and game planning while also designing in-season and off-season player workouts.
Volunteer Assistant Pitching Coach Brooke Babcock
Contact information for Coach Babcock
Brooke Babcock is currently in her fourth year as an assistant coach for the Bluffton University Softball Program under the direction of Head Coach Heather Bruder. Babcock, a 2010 graduate, was a four-year letter-winner for the NCAA Division III Bluffton University softball team. Brooke earned All-HCAC academic accolades each year at Bluffton. She was named First Team All-Heartland Conference as a pitcher in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Babcock, a two-year captain, helped the team make four consecutive trips to the HCAC tournament while also establishing a school single-season record of 30 wins in 2009. She finished her superb career at Bluffton ranked in the top five for all major pitching categories. She is second all-time in wins (43), appearances (98), games started (74), innings pitched (483.2) and strikeouts (401). Babcock is also second with just 1.82 walks per seven innings.
A Findlay High School graduate, Babcock earned her Bachelor of Arts at Bluffton University with a business major and accounting minor. She has volunteer coaching experience with several teams in the Findlay area in both softball and basketball. Babcock recently completed her Masters of Business Administration while at Bluffton. "I am excited to have the opportunity to return to Bluffton, a place that I loved playing, and give back to the school and softball program as a coach," Babcock quipped.
Babcock currently lives in Findlay, Ohio, where she is employed by Marathon Petroleum.
Strength and Conditioning Coach Landon Hamilton
Contact information for Coach Hamilton
Landon Hamilton is entering his second year as the Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Bluffton University softball team. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Masters in Movement Science and an emphasis in motor performance and control. Landon studied under the guidance of Drs. Waneen Sprirduso and Lawrence Abraham.
While at UT, he was the president of the UT Graduate Rugby team in which he still participates in tournament play. While in Austin, Landon also worked at the Competitive Training Center Austin where he gained experience working with clients ranging from professional athletes to general populations. He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in exercise science where he was also a member of the Miami University Rugby Football team. In addition to UT and Miami, Landon has spent a semester in Australia playing rugby for Central Queensland University.
Hamilton currently resides in Findlay, Ohio.