It is with a heavy heart that Fontbonne Athletics announces the retirement of the current softball coaching staff. Head coach Bill Rosner is stepping down after eight years as head of the Griffins and following with him are associate head coach Mike Akers as well as assistants Taylor Arnold and Justin and Samantha Juergensmeyer. Taylor (Rosner) has been with Rosner and Akers since the start of the program while Samantha (Rosner) joined the family business after graduating from Fontbonne. She and her husband, Justin, a former Fontbonne baseball player, has been with the program since the 2013 season.
"Sixteen years ago, I had a daughter that decided to play softball at Fontbonne University," reflects Rosner. "At the time I had no idea I was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I would meet the greatest coaching mentors and partners around in Mel Pinkley, Mel Richardson, John Conway and especially my best friend and associate head coach for the last eight years, Mike Akers. I bleed purple, but it is now time to focus on my family and friends that I have missed. My wife Mary, my children, my parents and family have given me unconditional support for which I am forever grateful."
Director of Athletics Maria Eftink reflects on the impact the coaching staff has made, "It is easy to say that today is a sad day for Fontbonne Softball, Fontbonne Athletics, and Fontbonne University. Coach Bill Rosner, associate head C=coach Mike Akers, and the rest of the coaching staff have done an incredible job building Fontbonne Softball into a national contender on and off the field, all while being part-time coaches and we thank them for the countless sacrifices they've made to positively impact our student-athletes."
Rosner and Akers have quite the impressive coaching record. The duo have compiled a 222-99 win-loss record with two conference shutout seasons over a course of a 116-11 regular-season SLIAC record.
Under the winningest coaches in the history of the program, Fontbonne has produced four All-American's, 11 All-Region players who have garnered 19 accolades, six SLIAC Tournament MVP's, 29 SLIAC All-Conference recipients that have accumulated 63 All-Conference awards, five SLIAC Newcomers of the Year, three Pitcher's of the Year for four awards and two Player's of the Year for three winnings.
As head coach, Rosner and company have garnered three SLIAC Coaching Staff of the Year awards as they have won six SLIAC regular-season conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III National Tournament six times.
His student-athletes have accomplished top-notch accolades and rankings during while at the helm of Fontbonne, including finishing No. 1 among Division III institutions in GPA during the 2013-14 school year. Each year the Griffins have finished in the top-10 in cumulative GPA under Rosner's direction. Over the course of his tenure including time as assistant coach, the Griffins have won 10 SLIAC Championships and made nine trips to the NCAA Tournament.
"Though the wins and championships are impressive, the most outstanding accomplishment for this duo has been the impact they have had in the development of so many young ladies," comments Eftink. "Their "WE" attitude has been the motto of the program where student-athletes know their role on the team and are willing to sacrifice "I" for "WE" which is not something seen often enough in sports. I know I speak for the Fontbonne Family in saying that yes, we are sad to know we will not see these two leading Fontbonne Softball next season. However, we are extremely grateful for all that Coach Rosner and Coach Akers have done for our student-athletes, softball program, athletic department, and Fontbonne University. We are happy that they will both have more time to spend with their family and friends. We wish them both nothing but the best in the future and know this is not goodbye but see you later, just in a different role."
"To the players, parents, fans, Fontbonne and WE...thank you for the ride of my life," closes Rosner.
Fans can also check out the numerous records his teams have set the last eight years. Anything from 2009-present at the following link has been under the direction of Rosner and his coaching staff.
STORY COURTESY OF FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE