University of Laverne (California) head softball coach Julie Smith, who won a gold medal with the United States Olympic Team in 1996, will be the lead instructor at this summer’s annual Williamsburg Softball Camp which will be held August 31st- September 2nd at Quarterpath Park.Smith was the starting second baseman for the 1996 team that captured the United States’ first-ever softball gold medal. After suffering a controversial 2-1 extra-inning loss to Australia – Dani Tyler’s fifth-inning homerun was called off after Australia appealed that Tyler never touched home plate – in pool play, the Americans responded by defeating China three times in a row to bring home the gold.
Smith brings nine years of coaching at both the professional and club level to this year’s camp.
As the current president of Teamsmith, Inc., a national non-profit organization that focuses on the development of young softball players and preparing them for college, Smith coaches three of the organization’s Amateur Softball Association travel teams.
In 2005, Smith also served as both general manager and head coach of the National Pro Fast Pitch’s New Jersey/New York Juggernaut franchise.
“I’m extremely pleased to announce Julie Smith as our lead instructor,” said Sandi Day, director of abc sports camps. “Julie’s credentials both as a player and a coach are impeccable, and I believe she is the person who will take our softball camp to great new levels.”
Prior to her Olympic playing days, Smith starred in college at both Texas A&M and Fresno State.
She led the Aggies to a NCAA national championship her freshman year in 1987 and earned All-American honors that season before transferring to Fresno State.
At FSU, Smith helped the Bulldogs to a second place finish in the NCAA tournament in 1990. She earned All-American honors in ’90 and ’91 and was named Fresno State’s Female Athlete of the Year in ’91 as well.
In 2006, she was named to the NCAA’s 25th anniversary team.
“The opportunity to work with aspiring softball players is very exciting to me,” said Smith in a press release last week. “My expectations are to create an atmosphere that builds confidence while developing the necessary skills for the players to reach their full potential and make an impact on their teams.”
Joining Smith as camp instructors will be former University of Minnesota star Hailee Nanchy and South Mountain Community College coach Kristina Graham.
The three-day camp will run from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and is open to all girls ages 8-18. The camp will focus on pitching mechanics, hitting fundamentals, position play and base running as well as the mental aspects of the game.
The camp cost is $175.00 per player. There is also a $125.00 sibling/group discount.
Preregistration is required. Visit www.softballcamps.com or call 800-222-8152 to sign up.