Heather Bruder named Bluffton University softball coach
Heather Bruder named head softball coach for Beavers
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
July 7, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University athletics department recently announced that Heather Bruder has accepted the position of head softball coach and assistant professor in the health, physical education and recreation department beginning with the 2006-07 academic year.
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.
Athletics director Phill Talavinia stated, "We are excited that Heather will join us at Bluffton and we look forward to the positive impact on student-athletes that she has both on and off the field."
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 is serving as an assistant softball coach for USA Athletes International. She has organized trips to Belgium, Germany, Aruba and Sydney while directing team developmental clinics for international youth organizations.