TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State softball volunteer coach, Kaleigh Rafter, has been named the Head Coach of the Canadian Softball National Team. Rafter recently won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I cannot put into words the excitement I have for being named Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team,” stated Kaleigh Rafter. “I am humbled at the trust Softball Canada has put in me. I would like to thank President Scott Neiles, Board liaison Andrea Wolf and CEO Hugh Mitchener, as well as all the other Board members for their support throughout this process. I love the sport of softball and I am committed to growing the game across all age groups in Canada. This program has risen to new heights, culminating with a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I want to thank all those who came before me that helped build the program, especially Coach Mark Smith who led us for the last 12 years. It is my mission to make all of you proud. Go Canada!”
Rafter has competed with the Women’s National Team since 2007. She is a two-time Olympian, a four-time Pan American Games medalist (one gold; three silver) and represented Canada in five WBSC World Cups, winning three bronze medals. She also won a gold medal at the 2007 Universiade (World University Games) and played two seasons of professional softball in Japan and one in the National Pro Fastpitch League.
While competing with the Canadian National Team, Rafter had the opportunity to serve as a student assistant coach and volunteer coach in several stints at Florida State (2009-2010; 2012-2013; 2015 and currently) and as an assistant coach at the University of New York at Buffalo (2015-2016) and the University of Virginia (2016-2019). Rafter is a Competition – Development Certified coach in the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).
During her time at Florida State in 2009, Rafter had a .332 batting average, 11 doubles, 11 home runs and 42 RBI. She also had a .990 fielding percentage and was named to the All-ACC First Team. She helped lead the Seminoles to a 44-16 record in 2009.
“We are very excited to see Kaleigh take on the responsibilities of Head Coach of our Women’s National Team program” stated Softball Canada President Scott Neiles. “Her passion and commitment to the Women’s National Team has been exceptional and we are very confident in the abilities and energy she will bring to lead this program in a very positive direction. We feel her experience as a player and as a coach will be a tremendous asset to our team going forward.”
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