The Norman Transcript


July 11, 2013

Team USA’s Ken Eriksen takes teaching aspect of his coaching duties seriously

OKLAHOMA CITY — Ken Eriksen enjoys the teaching part of coaching more than anything else. As the longtime coach at South Florida, he incorporates that philosophy into the program he’s been a part of for more than two decades.

And it’s a quality that’s even more important to his job as head coach of the U.S. national team.

Bringing together 18 women from across the country, former rivals turned into temporary teammates, is a feat that comes with its share of challenges. But it’s a challenge that Eriksen has embraced.

“Teaching is what I thrive on,” he said. “Being on this team is different than a college team. It takes a real commitment to the details, the little things.”

That’s what Eriksen built his program on at South Florida, and it’s brought success to the east-coast school that didn’t have much of a softball program before Eriksen took over the head job in 1997. In his first season at the helm, he led the team to a 50-13 record, a top-10 ranking and an NCAA regional. Since then, he’s had just four seasons without at least 40 wins and led the team to 10 tournament appearances and its first-ever Women’s College World Series berth in 2012.

Eriksen joined the national team as an assistant in 2001 and is in his second year as head coach. He has a number of newcomers to the squad this summer and is building toward the World Championships in 2014.

“These girls are all here for a reason: they can play,” he said. “Hopefully by the World Championships we’ll have a pretty good casserole going on.”

One of the players who will likely figure prominently on both this and next year’s team is Oklahoma junior Lauren Chamberlain, who helped lead OU to the national title last season and is well on pace to break the collegiate career home run record.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014