PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Earlier this week, 2010 Marshfield grad Andie Varsho was named the head softball coach at UW-Platteville. A 2014 graduate and on-the-field star at Purdue, Varsho is excited for the opportunity. Sports Director Dale Ryman spoke with her over the phone on Friday. Below is the press release from UW-P.
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has tabbed a former professional softball player to guide its softball team and her last name may be familiar to Major League Baseball fans. Andie Varsho, from Chili, Wisconsin, has been selected as the next head coach of the Pioneers. She played for the Pennsylvania Rebellion in 2014. Her father, Gary, played 14 years professionally, eight of those with the Chicago Cubs.
Andie Varsho played collegiately at Purdue University, where her name appears frequently in the record book. She batted over .400 in three of her four years. She holds the school record for longest hitting streak at 22 games. She ranks among the top five in nine offensive categories and is the career leader in base hits. In addition, she was named First Team All Big Ten her junior and senior seasons and was also a First Team Academic All American during her senior season.
Most recently, she was a volunteer assistant coach at UW-Madison, while finishing her master’s degree in administrative leadership online from UW-Milwaukee.
As for why she wanted to coach at UW-Platteville, Andie felt at home right away. “The WIAC is a really great conference with great NCAA Division III softball,and I’m a very competitive person,” she said. “I’m from the Midwest. I wanted to stay close to home. UW-Platteville reminded me of my alma mater, Purdue University. I got that feeling that I got when I was a recruit at Purdue. This is home. This is family. This is where I’m going to build a program and get softball back on track.”
“I am tremendously excited for our softball program with the hire of Andie Varsho,” said Mike Emenedorfer, interim athletic director and head football coach. “She has proven herself as a top notch player at Purdue University, as well as playing professional softball. Because of her knowledge and enthusiasm she will be able to lead our program well and attract top notch athletes.”
It’s fair to say that softball is a passion for the new Pioneer coach. “I’ve been passionate about it since I was young,” she said. “It probably came from the baseball girl in me. My dad has been my role model throughout the game of baseball and softball my entire life. My mom has been my number one fan. When my dad wasn’t there, my mom was there cheering me on. They always push me to be the best. The Varsho family is the most competitive family you’ll ever meet, whether that’s stickball in the yard or who can mow the grass the fastest; it’s always a competition.”
With the smell of freshly cut grass and limestone in her veins, baseball and softball have been part of Andie’s life for as long as she can remember. Her father has always given her advice and that continued once she accepted this job. “He says, ‘trust your instincts. You know the game better than anyone and you just have to trust yourself and use your resources and make sure you maintain relationships, whether that’s your players or alumni or with the community, you have to get everyone together and understand the culture of the softball program is going to change,’” she said.
Andie has no doubt that she will put her stamp on the Pioneer program and is excited to get started. She will teach hustle and hard work and ingrain in her players to have pride in the program. “I’m going to instill a lot of the D1 aspects of my experience in this program,” she said. “It should be valued that they are a Division III student-athlete. I want them to value playing a collegiate sport. They are student-athletes and I want them to walk around campus and be, ‘yeah, I play softball and I’m proud of it.’”
She will be rebuilding a Pioneer program that was 4-26 in 2016, including 1-13 in the WIAC.