By John Boccacino
CANANDAIGUA — The Finger Lakes Community College department of athletics is pleased to announce the hiring of softball coach Samantha Burmeister to guide the Lakers' softball program.
Burmeister, who is entering her third season as the assistant director of athletics at FLCC, possesses a wealth of softball experience and has a familiarity with the Lakers' softball program, having served as an assistant coach the past two seasons.
"I am very excited to be the next head softball coach at FLCC. I couldn't ask for a better softball coaching staff to work with, and I'm thankful to be a part of the FLCC coaching staff as we all support each other. I want to continue to improve upon the strong foundation that exists for FLCC softball. I want to build off of that foundation and continue the positive and successful direction that our program is headed in in order to improve our status in the region."
With a coaching philosophy centered on providing FLCC's student-athletes with the best, most well-rounded experience possible, both on the diamond and in the classroom, Burmeister said she wants to ensure all of her student-athletes are retained year-to-year, and that they earn their degrees from FLCC.
"I want to prepare these student-athletes for success at FLCC and beyond. I see it as my job as a coach to provide them with the resources they need to be successful during their time here at FLCC, but also help them find their next college destination or life goal," said Burmeister, who played college softball at Elmhurst (Ill.) and high school softball at Trinity Prep (Fl.).
"I strive to create an environment where student-athletes motivate each other for the betterment of both the team and FLCC while constantly displaying high levels of character that creates a well-respected reputation for the Finger Lakes Athletic Department and the softball program."
Burmeister previously served as the head softball coach at MacMurray College, located in Jacksonville, Ill., from 2010-2013. During her time at MacMurray, Burmeister oversaw the rapid growth of the program, taking the roster size from 10 players in 2011 to 20 players in 2012. Her recruiting efforts paid off as MacMurray tripled its win total in one year from 2011 to 2012. The wins at MacMurray were not just limited to the playing field, as Burmeister's softball student-athletes received the highest number of academic all-conference awards.
Burmeister received her bachelor's degree in communication studies from Elmhurst College, in Elmhurst, Ill., in 2010, and received her master's degree in communication from the University of Illinois-Springfield in 2013.
Prior to FLCC, Burmeister was the assistant athletics director for athletics communication/sports information at Wilson (Pa.) College from 2013-2015. She also served as the Phoenix' assistant softball coach, and was the associate varsity softball coach at Gordon Technical High School in Chicago, Ill. from 2008-2010.
Burmeister said the desire to coach was always with her, and when the opportunity to take over the coaching reins at FLCC presented itself, she knew it was the right time to resume her head coaching career.
"The coaching itch is always in you. Being a former head coach, I am always interested in the next coaching opportunity. FLCC provides me with the opportunity to mentor student-athletes to reach their academic and athletic goals," Burmeister said. "Building a tradition of success does not happen overnight. It takes time to continue to move a program forward and to build upon the past success. You need the right people and support staff on the journey with you. I feel as though our current coaching staff and administration is on board with our program's goals and initiatives."
An avid fan of the Chicago Cubs, Burmeister resides in Seneca Falls with her pug, Wrigley.