Heading into her seventh season as the head coach of the Florida State softball program, Lonni Alameda has guided the Seminoles back into one of the nation’s best teams. After seven Women’s College World Series appearances from 1987-2004, the Seminoles returned to the final site of women’s collegiate softball and also earned their 12th ACC Championship in 2014. FSU has played in the NCAA postseason every year under Alameda, and is one of only nine schools to participate in the NCAA Tournament in every season since 2000. Since Alameda has made Tallahassee her home, she has led the Seminoles to five ACC Championship game appearances in six seasons, with titles in 2011 and 2014.
Florida State posted its best season in a decade with a 55-9 record in 2014 to finish ranked No. 7 in the country by both the NFCA and USA Softball. The Seminoles won 24 ACC games to set a new school and ACC mark for conference wins in a season and also set program records in runs scored (400), home runs (65), extra base hits (168), RBI (363), walks (318) and slugging percentage (.493).
Several individuals earned regional and national awards as junior pitcher Lacey Waldrop was named USA Softball National Player of the Year. Waldrop joined Jessica van der Linden (2004) as Seminoles to win the national honor. Florida State is the only school in the country to have multiple players win the award. Waldrop joined junior shortstop Maddie O’Brien as an NFCA First Team All-American, marking the first time that FSU had placed two players on the first team in program history.
Waldrop and O’Brien also won 2014 ACC Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively, while Alameda earned ACC Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row. The Seminoles placed three players on the All-Region First Team, six players on the All-ACC Team, and five members on the ACC All-Tournament Team.
Since arriving at FSU, Alameda has earned 26 Top 25 victories. The signature win of the 2014 season came at the Tallahassee Super Regional, when senior Courtney Senas hit a two-run, walk-off home run against No. 13 Michigan to send the Seminoles to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2004. The program now has 58 NCAA postseason victories.
It was an impressive season in 2013 for the Seminoles as they fought through several injuries to key players yet reached the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since 2006 following a miraculous comeback against South Alabama in the Mobile Regional championship game. The five-run comeback with two outs in the top of the seventh against the 13th-seeded Jaguars personified the team's never-say-die attitude.
FSU finished with a 44-19 record and Alameda was named the ACC Coach of the Year, along with a school-record four All-ACC First Team selections and five overall.
The Seminoles set a new school mark with an 18-2 record in ACC play en route to the program’s 11th ACC regular season title. As the pitching coach, Alameda was influential on one of the most dynamic duos in the nation in Lacey Waldrop and Monica Perry. Waldrop earned NFCA Third-Team All-America honors, the first at Florida State since 2009, while Perry emerged as the most dominant pitcher in ACC play. The two helped the Seminoles finish 10th nationally for the second straight year in earned run average at 1.82, and helped guide Florida State to a 14th-place finish in the USA Softball Poll and a No. 15 ranking in the NFCA Poll. The rankings were the FSU’s highest since 2004.
Aside from the five total All-ACC Team members in 2013, Alameda coached her first ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year when Kelly Hensley was recognized for the honor. Hensley also was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team.
In 2012, the Seminoles achieved a mark of 47-16, their most wins since going 62-12 in 2004. Alameda led FSU to a 15-13 record against NCAA postseason teams throughout the year, which included nationally-ranked victories over No. 14 UCLA, No. 23 North Carolina twice and Women's College World Series participant LSU.
As the team's pitching coach, Alameda's influence on FSU starters Lacey Waldrop and Monica Perry was enormous. Both pitchers finished in the Top 30 nationally in earned run average, making FSU one of just five programs to have multiple pitchers in the top 30. Each hurler earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors twice, and were named to the All-ACC squad. As a unit, the Seminoles finished 10th in the country with a 1.53 team ERA. In 2012, four more student-athletes made the All-ACC Team under Alameda's watch including Tiffani Brown, Briana Hamilton, Perry and Waldrop. Brown and Shayla Jackson also were named to the NFCA All-Southeast Region Second Team.
In just her third season as head coach at Florida State, Alameda helped the Seminole softball program snap a seven-year ACC title drought to highlight an entertaining 2011 season. Despite making the conference tournament in Atlanta as the No. 4 seed, it was Alameda's season-long coaching tactics combined with the energy of her motivated group that enabled the Seminoles to storm through the competition and defeat second-seeded North Carolina, 4-1, to clinch an automatic NCAA Regional bid.
Under Alameda's guidance, the 2011 Seminoles created a noteworthy program achievement - for the first time in school history, FSU softball reached 12 consecutive NCAA Regionals. Her group also won two games in the Athens Regional, defeating Georgia State and UAB, to get to the final day of a regional for the first time since 2006.
Adding to Alameda's on and off-field influence, Sarah Hamilton became just one of two conference players in 2011 to be named to the All-ACC Team for the third time in her career. Shayla Jackson and Jen Lapicki joined Hamilton on the 2011 all-conference squad. Hamilton ended her illustrious career as one of the best pitchers in school history, with Alameda playing a large role in her success. Among her noteworthy feats, Hamilton became the first hurler in FSU history to finish with at least 1,000 career strikeouts, ending her four-year stay with 1,005 Ks.
In her second season as FSU head coach in 2010, Alameda led the Seminoles to a 44-18 record and second-consecutive appearance in not just the ACC Championship game but its 11th-straight appearance in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. At the time, FSU's ACC Championship game appearance marked the 14th time in school history it had the chance to play for a title - a total number that is more than any other school in the conference.
Under Alameda's tutelage, the 2010 Seminoles accomplished a lot of statistical feats. Not only did FSU get off to its best start since 1993 by starting the year 20-2, but the team capped off the year with high marks in a bevy of categories. The Seminoles' .297 batting average was the best since 2003 and their 226 strikeouts at the plate were the fewest since the 1998 campaign.
Individually, Alameda coached several FSU student-athletes who earned recognition for their hard work on the field and in the classroom. Carly Wynn was named an All-ACC First Team selection and Terese Gober, Sarah Hamilton and Ashley Stager were each placed on the All-ACC Second Team. Robin Ahrberg, Tiffani Brown and Hamilton each got the nod on the ACC's All-Tournament team. Wynn and Hamilton captured Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Southeast Region Second Team honors, while Wynn was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Third Team.
Alameda came to Florida State prior to the 2009 season and went on to surpass 200 career coaching victories in her first year in Tallahassee (she picked up win No. 300 on March 17, 2012 against Fairfield and added win No. 400 at North Carolina on March 30, 2014). The Seminoles finished the 2009 campaign with a 44-16 record and achieved the best conference record in school history at the time with a 17-4 league mark.
For her team's exploits on the field in 2009, Alameda and the Seminoles had the opportunity to host a regional in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2004 season. Alameda coached several Seminoles that garnered postseason awards as Hamilton was named a Third Team Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-American as a sophomore. Hamilton was also named ACC Pitcher of the Year, an ACC First Team member and to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region Team. Then-senior catcher Kaleigh Rafter was also named to the All-Region team and was an All-ACC First Team member as well. Wynn and Gober (both second team) were also student-athletes coached by Alameda who were recognized as All-ACC players.
Alameda carries an impressive coaching résumé on the international level and from 2004 to 2008 helped in the development of Canada's National Team. She aided Canada up until the 2004 Summer Olympics and resumed as an assistant following the Rebels' 2005 season. In the summer of 2006, Canada qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, after its strong showing in the World Championships. Alameda spent the summer of 2008 with the Canadian team which ended its quest for the gold with a fourth-place finish at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Alameda came to FSU from UNLV, where she spent five seasons reviving the Rebels' program. She replaced Dr. JoAnne Graf, who retired after 30 seasons with the Seminoles.
Alameda went 25-35 in her first season at UNLV in 2004, which was a four-game improvement over 2003's final tally. She then posted a staggering 44-19 mark in 2005 and the program's first trip to NCAA Regionals since 1996. Alameda was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 and the entire staff garnered NFCA West Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
The 2005 season featured an assault on the program's record book, appearances in the national statistical rankings and the introduction of several conference and national award winners. The 44 wins were the third-most in the program's history, while the 17 Mountain West Conference wins were the most-ever since joining the league in 1999. After being predicted to finish last in the league, UNLV excelled, placing second in the league in both the regular season and Mountain West Conference tournament.
In 2006, the squad was set back by injuries and fell to 26-37, but saw a 180-degree turnaround in 2007 and finished with a 37-27 mark as Alameda earned MWC Coach of the Year honors for the second time.
Alameda and UNLV had high hopes for 2008 and had the Rebels ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll for the first time in program history. After starting the season 9-1-1, UNLV moved up to No. 18 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, but injuries to four starters proved costly as the season progressed.
Under Alameda's direction, the Rebels enjoyed recognition at the conference and regional level. Five Rebels garnered Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Regional honors while 13 players earned all-Mountain West Conference accolades, including two pitchers of the year and one freshman of the year awards.
To Alameda, academics are just as important as on-the-field production. Since taking over the program, the Rebels had 58 Academic All-MWC honorees. Over that time span, the team had 10 or more honored in a season four times, including 11 softball student-athletes in 2008. The softball program had 21 MWC Scholar-Athletes selected, as well.
In her six seasons at Florida State, Alameda's academic priorities have been apparent. She has coached one ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year, two academic All-Americans, four NCAA postgraduate scholarship award winners, seven academic all-district team members and 20 All-ACC Academic Team players.
During her tenure at UNLV, Alameda also stressed the importance of community service and had players volunteer their time at the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation and Child Haven while participating in breast cancer walks and blood drives. Her emphasis has not changed since arriving at FSU, with the 2011 Seminole Squad earning honors such as the SemiGnome Award for community service and routinely producing standout student-athletes who are honored for their charitable ways. One of those players was Kelly Hensley who was awarded a 2013 Top Six For Service honor. In 2014, the Seminole softball program earned the FSU Director’s Cup for Service as they averaged 35.96 hours of community service per student-athlete to lead all 20 FSU varsity sports.
Alameda moved to Las Vegas after eight seasons as the assistant coach at Stanford University, where she helped guide the Cardinal to a 320-179-1 record and six straight NCAA Regional appearances. She oversaw the pitching staff there and produced three All-Americans: Becky Blevins, Marcy Crouch and Dana Sorenson.
Prior to her stint at Stanford, Alameda spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Barry University (Miami Shores, Fla.). She helped the Buccaneers to a fifth-place NCAA Division II finish in her first year. She also spent some time on the international stage, serving as an instructor for both the Aruba (1995) and Spanish (2000) national teams.
An all-around great athlete, Alameda began her collegiate career as a pitcher at St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas) where she led the Rattlers to the NAIA Tournament in her only season. She later transferred to Oklahoma in 1989 and played softball and volleyball for the Sooners. She was a two-time All-Big Eight selection as a first and third baseman, while hitting .359 as a senior in 1992.
Alameda earned her bachelor's degree in communications from Oklahoma in 1993 and played softball professionally in Europe for a season before beginning her coaching career.
Assistant Florida State softball coach Craig Snider begins his fourth season with the Seminoles and has already done wonders with the Seminole hitters in just three years in Tallahassee.
Using his technological approach to help each batter, Snider was an enormous part of the 2014 resurgence of FSU softball onto the national scene. The Seminoles posted a 55-9 record and won the school’s 12th ACC Championship and advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2004.
The 2014 offense set several new records, many that were set just one year prior as Snider and the rest of the staff have been able to change the perception of Florida State being only a pitcher’s school into one where the Seminoles perform all phases of the game at a high level. FSU broke the previous marks for runs scored (400), home runs (65), extra base hits (168), RBI (363), walks (318) and slugging percentage (.493). The Noles also finished with a .304 batting average, which was the first time since 1995 that the team had finished with a mark above .300.
FSU placed four position players on the 2014 All-ACC Team (O’Brien, Senas, East and Hamilton) and also four on the ACC All-Tournament Team (O’Brien, Gomez, Hensley and Brown).
Despite his short time in Tallahassee, Snider had coached numerous players who are now listed on FSU’s single-season top 10 list in many categories. Maddie O’Brien set school records in home runs (24), walks (56), RBI (83) and slugging percentage (.942) in 2014 on her way to being an NFCA First Team All-American and the ACC Player of the Year. Courtney Senas added 15 home runs, 57 RBI and tied Tiffani Brown with 65 runs scored.
In all, five of the top six home run, three of the top five walk, three of the top five RBI and three of the top seven run totals in Florida State history have come from players coached by Snider since 2012.
The success in 2014 only built upon the foundation laid in 2013 that set school marks for home runs (60), RBIs (316) and slugging percentage (.476). In no way was the offense one-dimensional, as the Seminoles also posted a .292 batting average and recorded 156 extra base hits, just two shy of the program record at the time.
Snider helped accomplish so much success at the plate despite being without three key everyday players who were out with season-ending injuries early in the year. Known as a tradition-rich program with enormous pitching feats, Snider helped give a vital boost to the Seminole bats that helped carry the team along with good pitching in 2013 and watched three position players in Senas, freshman Victoria East and Bullock earn All-ACC selections.
Arriving in the summer of 2011, Snider helped foster a winning attitude and developed tremendous camaraderie with student-athletes and recruits immediately. He worked actively to improve the individual performances of several student-athletes in the 2012 season, helping players such as Briana Hamilton, Tiffani Brown, Kirstin Austin and others record banner years. Hamilton and Brown earned selections to the All-ACC First Team for the first time in their careers, while Austin's noticeable improvement at the plate gave the Seminoles an enormous spark throughout the year.
In 2012, Snider's daily teachings helped the team establish a strong sense of plate discipline. FSU's 230 walks were vital toward manufacturing runs, with it being the team's highest total since 2004. Throughout the season, the Seminole offense proved to be a clutch-hitting bunch that could come through in late-game situations. It was also a fundamentally-sound group that improved greatly in situational hitting, contributing to its 47-16 overall record.
Moreover, Snider's first season at FSU was an enjoyable one for everyone associated with the program. He has proven in just a short period of time how easily he relates with student-athletes while working with them day-to-day, and is someone who is sure to develop positive and meaningful relationships with future Seminoles on the recruiting trail. As someone who possesses an innovative mindset, Snider will continue to help FSU student-athletes at the plate through his analytical work in the video room, batting cages and on the field.
The Franklin, Ky. native has built a reputation for being a difference maker everywhere he has been, which includes Stephen F. Austin, Oklahoma, Centenary and Lindsey Wilson College. Over the last decade, Snider has propelled each of his teams toward tremendous improvement at the plate, and looks to continue his history of success as FSU's hitting coach.
In his most recent stint at Stephen F. Austin as an assistant coach, Snider helped turn the Southland Conference program around right away. He took over as hitting coach in 2007 following a season in which the Ladyjacks finished with a .229 batting average. Over the next three seasons, SFA batted .274 (2008), .275 (2009) and .278 (2010). He also led the team to sharp spikes in home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as SFA recorded 43 round-trippers in Snider's first season after hitting just 16 the season before.
At Stephen F. Austin, Snider took on several roles in guiding the program toward its recent success. He devised hitting and defensive workouts during the fall, directed all aspects of camps, developed team-building exercises, served as a fundraising arm, handled much of the recruiting and recruiting databases and oversaw his student-athlete's academic progress.
"I'm extremely impressed with Craig's character," FSU head coach Lonni Alameda said. "He is a genuine person who works hard and loves the game. He has been a part of bigger programs as well as mid majors and I believe that makes him a tremendous coach as you have to be very creative in your coaching as you relate to different styles of athletes. Craig also brings a wealth of recruiting connections. He is very good with people and respected by many and he will now embrace those relationships as a Seminole."
Snider, who has been involved as a coach in softball since 2001, previously assisted in producing three All-Americans at Oklahoma from 2005-06, and played a large role in creating scouting reports as a graduate assistant coach for the Sooners. At his alma mater of Centenary, he helped lead the school to two Mid-Con Tournament championships while providing analysis for recruiting, hitting, fielding and putting together chart systems. His versatility also included field maintenance and even putting together the team's highlight videos in 2004 and 2005.
At Lindsey Wilson College from 2001-03, Snider guided the team to batting averages above .300 every season. He was heavily involved in the recruiting process as an assistant coach and oversaw all summer camps.
"I'm thrilled to help coach at such an established program that is coming off another conference championship and has great things going for it," Snider added when he first came to Tallahassee. "FSU's history of softball success was such a motivating factor for me to come here, and I have no doubt that through the hard work of this current coaching staff and our student-athletes, we can take this program to the next level."
Snider is married to his wife, Lauren, who is a native of Bellville, Texas. The two have one daughter, Riley.
Assistant Florida State softball coach Travis Wilson continued to push the program to new heights in 2014 as the Seminoles reached the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2004.
Entering his fourth season on staff at FSU, Wilson has helped Florida State into a national offensive presence. The 2014 Seminoles posted a 55-9 record and earned the ACC regular season title with a 24-3 mark. The 24 ACC wins set a new school and ACC record for conference wins in a season and gave the Seminoles the No. 1 seed on their way to winning their 12th ACC Tournament Championship.
Under Wilson’s guidance, the Florida State lineup was dangerous from top to bottom and saw many players recognized for their success. Maddie O’Brien set new single-season school records for home runs (24), RBI (83), walks (56) and slugging percentage (.942) on her way to being named an NFCA First Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year. Courtney Senas was named to the NFCA All-Southeast Region First Team would have set school records in home runs (15) and RBI (57) if not for her teammate, as both totals were more than any Seminole had hit prior to the 2014 season.
As a team, the Seminoles set program records in runs scored (400), home runs (65), extra base hits (168), RBI (363), walks (318) and slugging percentage (.493). These marks eclipsed several records that were set during the impressive 2013 campaign that saw FSU reach its first NCAA Super Regional since 2006.
Wilson helped Florida State achieve record-breaking numbers in just his second season as the Seminoles shattered the previous home run record of 49 in 2007 by producing 60 round-trippers in 2013. For the first time ever, four Seminoles finished with double-digit home runs including Courtney Senas (14), Kelly Hensley (13), Maddie O'Brien (10) and Celeste Gomez (10).
Florida State's 316 RBIs set a school record, topping the previous mark of 313 in 2004. The 2013 squad also set a program record for slugging percentage at .476, were able to win 17 games by mercy rule and recorded 20 games with double-digit base hits.
Wilson also oversees the team's fielding and with early-season injuries in 2013 throwing players into makeshift positions, Wilson worked arduously with each infielder and outfielder on their mechanics and created a well-accomplished group that got the job done.
Joining fellow assistant coach Craig Snider as the team's offensive instructors, Wilson helped the Seminoles make strides at the plate in their debut 2012 year. Coaching a youthful unit that included just one everyday senior starter, Wilson also made a great impact on the team's defensive game as it became a sound group in the field.
In 2012, the Seminoles finished the year with a .966 fielding percentage to rank in the upper echelon on a national scale. FSU became an entertaining group to watch defensively as student-athletes such as third baseman Briana Hamilton, shortstop Maddie O'Brien, second baseman Tiffani Brown and centerfielder Courtney Senas made a bevy of highlight-reel plays throughout the season. A fundamentally-sound unit of infielders and outfielders collectively produced both the routine and difficult plays.
It was the solid play of FSU's defensive stalwarts that helped the Seminoles begin the 2012 season with a 16-0 record, the second-best start in school history. The 16-game win streak ties for the 12th longest winning stretch for the program.
Wilson is seen as an excellent instructional mind by FSU's student-athletes, which was evident from the first day of practice in the fall 2011. He is a reliable arm for batting practice who is always offering excellent teaching points to better enlighten each player. Wilson has proven to be an absolute student of the game who utilizes various statistics in his meticulous game-day preparation.
Wilson is a native of New Zealand who has already taken on an important role in recruiting. The baseball, softball and cricket veteran serves as the Seminoles' hitting and fielding coach, using his past success as a player to better serve his student-athletes.
"Travis is from both professional baseball and the New Zealand National Program," head coach Lonni Alameda said when Wilson first arrived in the summer 2011. "From the first time I met Travis I knew he would be a great fit for our program. It is not often you come across someone that has played the same game that the girls do and yet has 10 years of Major League Baseball experience. He is personable and he has won at the highest level of this game from the men's side. He has played every position you can on the field and has been among some of the world's best in men's fastpitch. I believe Travis will be able to relate to the players on a unique level as he stills plays the game. He is excited about this opportunity and can help our program get to the next level."
Alameda's words have become prophetic so far, with Wilson doing an excellent job of working with each student-athlete and enhancing their overall game. In just three seasons of work, countless players have improved their batting average and expanded their defensive abilities through the work of Wilson.
From 1996-2004, Wilson played seven seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization covering all stops from Rookie Ball to Triple-A. He enjoyed much success in his professional stint, being named an All-Star for the Appalachian League (1998), South Atlantic League (1999) and the Carolina League (2000). He was named Carolina League Player of the Year for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, and led the Grapefruit League in hitting for the Braves during spring training in 2001.
Wilson ended his professional career in 2004 with the Cincinnati Reds' organization in Chattanooga, Tenn. As a softball player in New Zealand for the Black Sox, he made his debut as a 16-year old in 1994 and was named both the New Zealand Softballer of the Year and the Canterbury Softballer of the Year after posting a team-best .396 batting average in 1996. He would earn the Canterbury Player of the Year honor multiple times and become one of his country's biggest softball ambassadors. He continues to play today.
Wilson's most recent baseball stint was as an instructor for the Idaho Falls, a Rookie League team of the Kansas City Royals. His tasks included scouting the Pioneer League, writing reports and utilizing video while communicating with the Royals organization on several prospects. His efforts have helped the Royals claim their status of having the best farm system in Major League Baseball, as asserted by several minor-league publications. On the field, he helped his players develop their infield/outfield skills, base running and hitting mechanics. Wilson also served as expert commentator for the ISF Men's World Softball Series, and was fielding coach and video analyst for the Black Caps of the New Zealand Cricket Association.
Wilson is married to his wife, Jill. The two have a son named Tyler.