BUENA VISTA, Va. Acting Athletic Director Diedre Dryden today announced the hiring of Duste Grawrock, as the new head coach for the Southern Virginia softball team. Grawrock will replace Col. Mike Smith, who has coached for the past four seasons.
"I want to express a tremendous amount of gratitude for Coach Smith," said Dryden. "He has helped softball and athletics attain a level of success, and we thank him for that. We wish him the best as he moves on from Southern Virginia."
Grawrock will begin her responsibilities immediately, and will look to build on a program that has a demonstrated track record of success. The 2010 team finished 23-10, and placed 5th at the USCAA National Tournament earlier this month. Grawrock is no stranger to the program, as she was a former player at SVU. She played two seasons for the Knights, and was a 2002 USCAA Honorable Mention All-American as catcher.
Grawrock's playing time, and coaching experience were of prime importance for Dryden in making this hire. Dryden was Grawrock's coach, and she knew, even then, that Grawrock had the makings of a head coach.
"Duste is both talented and decisive when it comes to softball," said Dryden. "She understands the pitching dynamic, as a former catcher, and she has a great knowledge of all of the positions on the field. She will be a great role model for the players, and will help them improve skills, and make great strides as a program."
Grawrock's coaching experience includes three seasons as a softball coach in Oregon for Sunset and Valley Catholic High Schools. Most recently, she has been a private coach for players and club teams in the Rockbridge County area. This will be her first head coaching position at the collegiate level.
"I'm excited to be a part of SVU softball again," said Grawrock. "I want to make sure that we have a high level of hard work and dedication from this team. We have a lot to live up to, and I hope that we can continue to be successful on the field. More importantly, I want to share this passion and love I have for the game, with the girls on the team. I hope that my coaching can bring out the best of them on the field, but also in their personal lives."
Grawrock is married to Head Women's Soccer Coach Matt Grawrock. The couple lives in Buena Vista, and has three children, Landon, 5, Cael, 3, and Ainsley, 1.