Blue Knights Fastpitch Lands New Head Coach
Aaron Vail brings solid philosophy to softball program
The Blue Knights fastpitch softball team at Dakota County Technical College has a new head coach with strong plans for the future. Aaron Vail, a former assistant fastpitch coach and recruiting coordinator at Hamline University, was already recruiting players first thing in the morning on his first day on the job.
“We will commence practice January 10, 2010, which means I need to start recruiting immediately,” Vail said. “I will meet with interested players from our own campus and sister campuses while establishing connections with high-school, in-house and club softball teams throughout Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area. I’m looking at 18 as the ideal number of players for fielding the most competitive team this spring.”
During Vail’s time at Hamline, the Pipers posted a 117–73–1 overall record, which translates into a .621 winning percentage. While taking on the dual role of head coach and player with the Tiger Athletic Club in Aurora, Ill., Vail recorded the following team accomplishments:
- Two-time North American Fastpitch Association World Series Runner-Up
- Two-time International Softball Congress World Tournament Runner-Up
Ranked as one of the top male fastpitch players in the U.S., Vail excelled on teams across the Upper Midwest as well as in Ontario, Canada, and Christchurch, New Zealand, earning the following honors:
- Three-time Amateur Softball Association All-State
- Three-time NAFA All-State
- Two-time NAFA 23 & Under All-World
- ISC 23 & Under All-World
Vail is also an accomplished fastpitch umpire as well as co-owner and director of The Edge Softball, a fastpitch academy in the works that will focus on player personal development along with umpire and youth coach training programs.
“I believe in always working harder and smarter than opponents in recruiting, scouting and practicing to guarantee on-field achievement,” Vail said. “I’m also committed to teaching the fundamentals and skills necessary to ensure proper preparation and success for my student-athletes both on and off the field.”
Vail’s action plan for Blue Knights fastpitch calls for competing as a college-level independent team for two years before moving to full-time status as an NJCAA Div. III team in the 2010–2011 season.
“We will set realistic expectations and achievements for measuring success,” Vail said, “but at the same time we will always aim for goals that our beyond our current reach. I believe in cultivating a cooperative team system where everyone works together for something more important than individual accomplishments.”