Mark Smith Named Softball Canada High Performance Director / Head Coach
Softball Canada – (Ottawa, ON) Softball Canada is pleased to announce the hiring of Mark Smith as full-time High Performance Director for the Women’s National Team program, while also continuing in his position as Head Coach of the Women’s National Team. Smith has led the Women’s National Team program since 2009, and will take on additional duties as a result of softball’s return to the 2020 Olympic Games programme. The official start date in his new full-time position will be March 6.
“We are delighted to have Mark join us in a full-time capacity as High Performance Director / Head Coach of the Women’s National Teams program” stated Hugh Mitchener, CEO of Softball Canada. “He has a proven track record of success with our Women’s team and prior to that coaching our Men’s program and of course as a world-class player. We appreciate the support of Own the Podium and Sport Canada in providing the resources to continue to improve our program, both on the field and off the field.”
Mark Smith has led the Women’s National Team to a number of great results since taking over the program in 2009, highlighted by two bronze-medal finishes at the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championships (in 2010 and 2016), a silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games and the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games. Prior to coaching with the Women’s program, he coached at the Junior Men’s and Men’s National Team level from 1999 to 2009 after a Hall of Fame playing career with the Canadian Men’s National Team that spanned from 1979 to 1996. He was recently named the recipient of the Coaching Association of Canada’s 2016 Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award.
“I am both appreciative and excited to be given this tremendous opportunity to serve in a lead role as we prepare the 2020 Olympic Games” said Smith. “Over the past seven years the dedication and commitment of the athletes and our staff have put the program in a great place and I look forward to building on our success.”
The lead-up to the 2020 Olympic Games begins in 2017 as teams will start looking to qualify for one of six spots in the Olympic Women’s Softball competition. The first step for the Canadian Women’s National Team will be the 2017 Pan American Championship scheduled for August 4-13 in the Dominican Republic, where five teams will qualify for the 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan.
Softball Canada will hold a Women’s National Team Selection Camp for the 2017 team in June, and the team will compete at the US World Cup of Softball from July 5-9 in Oklahoma City and the Canada Cup International Softball Championship from July 11-17 in Surrey, BC leading up to the Pan American Championship. Team Canada will then travel overseas to compete in the Japan Cup from August 25-27.
For more information, please contact:
Manager – Marketing and Communications
O: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105
C: (613) 795-1996