Shane Gunderson named Bemidji State head softball coach
Friday, August 20, 2010
Shane Gunderson named Bemidji State head softball coach
BEMIDJI, Minn. —  Bemidji State University Director of Athletics Dr. Rick Goeb announced the hiring of Shane Gunderson as the head coach of the Beavers’ softball program today, making the former BSU graduate assistant and All-America catcher at the University of Minnesota the 17th head coach in BSU softball history.

“Shane has experience playing baseball at an extremely high level.  He not only played at the collegiate level, he also spent six years in the Twins farm system developing his skills,” commented Goeb.  “He has spent the last several years coaching, giving lessons and instructing at clinics so I an confident that he will step right in and transfer those skills to players in our softball program.”

“I am really excited to be back on campus and want to thank Dr. Goeb for this opportunity,” said Gunderson.  “I loved my two years here as a graduate assistant.  I enjoy the people, I like the atmosphere and I think the athletic department is headed in the right direction.”

Gunderson returns to Bemidji State, where he served as graduate assistant coach for the BSU baseball team from 2007-09, after one year as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa.  While with the Blackhawks, he helped lead a team that batted .347 went 42-17 overall and produced three NCAA Division I scholarship recipients, including second-team All-America catcher Jumpy Garcia who hit .436, with 20 homeruns, 15 doubles and plated 91 RBI.

In addition, Gunderson brings experience from the Northwoods Baseball League where he has served as an assistant coach for the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers since 2009, was an instructor at the Minnesota Baseball Instruction School at the University of Minnesota from 2004-2008 and made stops as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division II and high school levels.

As a player, Gunderson put together one of the finest careers of any catcher in University of Minnesota baseball history (1992-95).  The Faribault, Minn. native hit 16 homeruns, and six triples and accounted for 65 runs batted in during the 1995 season en route to American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) First-Team and Mizuno Third-Team All-America selections in 1995. Gunderson remains among the top 10 in three career ofensive categories, which includes homeruns (31), on-base percentage (.457) and slugging percentage (.632).  In addition, the two-time All-Big Ten pick helped the Golden Gophers to the 1994 NCAA Tournament.

In 1995, Gunderson cut his collegiate playing career short to pursue a professional career with the Minnesota Twins--the team that drafted him in the sixth round of the 1995 amateur draft.  In six seasons with the Twins farm system, Gunderson batted .259 in nearly 400 games played.  He posted 327 hits with 77 doubles, 13 triples,  28 home runs and 167 RBI playing his way to Minnesota’s AA team in New Britain, Conn.

Of his NCAA Division I playing career and his stint in professional baseball Gunderson commented, “I think it gives me some credibility with the players as far as on-the-field knowledge.  I’ve been in their shoes. I have a good handle on the skills that are needed to be successful and I’ll do my best to relay those skills to them so we can improve as a softball team.”

Gunderson earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 2007 and continues work towards a master’s degree in sport studies at Bemidji State.

Gunderson takes over for Jeremy Popp who left the program in 2010 after two seasons.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).