Head Coach Heather Bruder
Contact information for Coach Bruder
Office phone: 419-358-3378
|Heather Bruder is entering her fourth season as head softball coach of the Bluffton University softball team. In her third season at Bluffton, Coach Bruder guided the Beavers to a 30-13 record, shattering the previous school mark of 26 wins set by the 2004 squad. Bluffton has qualified for the four-team HCAC tournament in each of Bruder's three years at the helm and the Beavers made it to day two of the tournament in 2009 for the first time since it went to the limited format. Since Bruder took over at Bluffton, the Beavers have posted an outstanding mark of 34-13 in Heartland Conference action.|
In her three seasons at Bluffton, the Beavers' batting average has risen 66 points from .238 to .304. Opponents batted 46 points lower in 2009 than they did in 2007, .223 compared to .269 two years ago.
Bruder graduated from Alma College in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. She earned her master of arts in sport administration from Central Michigan University in 2001.
During her softball career at Alma College, Bruder was an academic All-American three times while leading her teams to three straight MIAA titles from 1997-1999. As a senior captain, the outfielder was a member of the Alma squad which finished third at the NCAA Division III nationals.
After taking over a struggling program at Northwood University, Bruder turned the program into a national powerhouse in NCAA Division II softball. In 2005 after five straight losing seasons, the Timberwolves finished with a 34-14 overall record and their first ever GLIAC championship. Bruder was named GLIAC Coach of the Year and her team advanced to the finals of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship where it fell to Northern Kentucky, the number 1 team in the country.
She built on that success in 2006 as the Timberwolves won a school record 37 games and placed six players on All-GLIAC teams, including Lisa Shepard who earned first team All-Region honors during her junior and senior seasons. Northwood put together a 71-29 record during Bruder's final two seasons as head coach.
In addition to her success at Northwood, Bruder has served as an assistant softball coach for USA Athletes International. She organized trips to Belgium, Germany, Aruba and Sydney while directing team developmental clinics for international youth organizations.
Coach Bruder currently resides in Findlay, Ohio.
Assistant Coach Paul Burnside
Contact information for Coach Burnside
Office phone: 419-358-3020
Paul Burnside returns for his second season as the graduate assistant coach of the Bluffton University softball team. Burnside helped guide a youthful squad that established a new mark for wins in a season and he will continue in his role as pitching coach for the Beavers during the 2009-10 campaign.
A graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, Burnside earned his bachelor of science degree in conservation with a minor in business management from Kent State University in 1999.
Burnside was the head women's softball coach for the U.S. Air Force from 1991-94 and then coached numerous public school basketball and softball teams in the Akron area before founding the Summit Rage Organization in 2004. The Rage is a travel softball organization that has quickly made its mark in Ohio and as a national tournament qualifier.
|Burnside currently lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Lisa, three daughters and one son. He and Lisa are parents to Heather, 22, and three triplets (April, Lacy and Devin) who are 18.|