Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Robert McKinney
PORTALES – Ron Landschoot, who has 35 years of fastpitch softball experience as a player, head coach and umpire, has been named interim head softball coach at Eastern New Mexico University.
"I'm very enthusiastic about the addition of Ron Landschoot," Athletic Director Mike Maguire said in announcing ENMU's coach. "We're in a tough situation (the Zias' first regular season games are Feb. 1), and Ron comes to us with a great background and knowledge of the game. We're glad to have him on board.
"He'll be our interim coach between now and May, and hopefully he will be involved in our national search for the full-time position," Maguire said.
Landschoot, 59, replaces Kathleen Rodriguez, who resigned earlier this month to become the first head softball coach at the University of Texas at El Paso. The UTEP softball team will begin intercollegiate competition in the spring of 2004.
Landschoot earned a bachelor's degree in Business from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., in 1968. He played basketball and baseball while attending RIT.
He joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from RIT, and earned his pilot wings in 1970. He is a Vietnam veteran with over 4,400 flying hours. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying 115 missions over Vietnam. One of his assignments during his career was to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. He received a master's degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1981, and retired from the Air Force in 1988.
During his 20-year career in the Air Force, he began his involvement with fastpitch softball. He was a player for 20 years, a head coach for 19 years and an umpire for seven years. He was the tournament coordinator for three women's collegiate tournaments, and has coached in the American Softball Association for a total of 14 seasons. His ASA record is 418-256, including four State Championships (one in Florida; three in New Mexico) and numerous Regional and National tournament appearances. One of the ASA State Tournaments his teams won was held in Portales, N.M., in 1988.
Landschoot started his first collegiate head coaching position at NMSU in the fall of 1990. He was named Big West Women's Softball Coach-of-the-Year in 1992.
"I'm really proud and honored to be coaching the ENMU Zia softball team," Landschoot said. I'm very impressed with the people, facilities, and especially, the players. They are hungry to do their best in the classroom and on the softball field, and should evidence a good season in the Lone Star Conference.
"I'm also very grateful to Athletic Director Mike Maguire for his confidence in my selection. I promise Zia softball will be fun and exciting to watch," Landschoot added.
Landschoot has been married to his wife, Pat, for 36 years. They met in their hometown of Rochester, N.Y., and have two children, Michelle and Damon.
Landschoot will be aided by former Zia softball players Dalia Flores and Jessica Rowley, who will be graduate assistant coaches this spring. Both played with the Zias in 2001 and 2002. They helped Eastern tie for fifth place at the 2001 NCAA Division II National Finals in Salem, Va.
The Zias will begin the 2003 season by hosting New Mexico Highlands University in a pair of double-headers on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. (MST) and Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. (MST). All of ENMU's home games will be played at Zia Softball Field on the ENMU campus. Maguire will conduct a comprehensive search for a permanent head softball coach at the conclusion of the season.