Ferrara pitches fresh ideas for LV

Posted Dec. 8, 2006

Rhiannon Mim

After serving two years as an assistant coach, Anna Ferrara was promoted to head coach of the La Verne softball program. During her years as assistant coach, the team had 60 wins and a record of 32-12. A graduate of Ohio State University, Ferrara holds several Ohio State softball records, including single season batting average (.507). Ferrara is planning to graduate from ULV in May 2007 with a master’s degree in educational counseling.

After a 20-year love of the game, becoming a Division I all-star and assistant coaching for years, Anna Ferrara was presented with a opportunity that every retired athlete dreams of: a head coaching position.

“I knew I had to step-up as a head coach rather than a brand new face,” Ferrara said. “I was really sad to see Robin go and I didn’t really know what was going to happen but I knew it would be difficult for the girls to start brand new.”

Ferrara grew up in Diamond Bar.

She began playing softball at age 6, not because her father loved baseball but because her mother liked softball and thought her girls should give it a try.

She attended Diamond Bar High School where she played on the varsity softball team for four years.

Ferrara bounced around the infield in various positions but perfected her left-handed slap hitting, earning All-California Interscholastic Federation honors twice.

She was also a four time All-Sierra League and three time All-Valley selection.

After all the success she had in high school, she received a full ride to Ohio State University.

“At Ohio State we really had a sense of family within the team, but just the team,” Ferrara said. “Here it is different.”

“The community is smaller and there is a sense of family within the team and within the community. I really enjoy that,” she added.

Ferrara made her mark with the Buckeyes as an outfielder and displayed her speed, setting a school single-season record in 2002 with 40 stolen bases.

She ended 2002, her senior year, with a batting average of .507 with 105 hits, which were also Ohio State single-season records.

Ferrara was also honored with First Team All-American the first player awarded this honor for OSU.

Ferrara’s other collegiate accomplishments were achieving First Team All-Great Lakes Region, First Team All-Big Ten, OSU Most Valuable Player and OSU Most Valuable Offensive Player.

“Her knowledge and experience of the game will play a big role in her coaching,” said senior second baseman Suzanne Riker.

“She is always coming up with good strategy by picking up on the other teams’ strengths and weaknesses,” Riker added.

In 2002, Ferrara graduated from Ohio State with a bachelor’s degree in human ecology.

As soon as she graduated, she was back in California.

She got a job at surfing apparel manufacturer Quicksilver, Inc.

Ferrara worked there for a year and a half until she realized it was not making her happy and she needed a change.

“It was hard to be in an office all day,” Ferrara said. “I was still giving private softball lessons and was really missing softball so I decided to go back to school for my master’s.”

When Ferrara left Quicksilver, she began assistant coaching at Diamond Bar High School.

She had a friend who was assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at the University of La Verne who kept encouraging her to call the softball coaching staff.

Ferrara called but the plan fell through because they didn’t need help at that time.

In 2004, the ULV softball team lost its assistant coach and Ferrara happened to call once again.

She was pleased to hear that head coach Robin Haaker-Durant had an assistant coaching position open.

“I am really excited about this year, Anna is really organized and on top of things,” said sophomore Kelly Ince.

“She is really helping us to unite more as a team and she is dedicated to our success,” Ince added.

Ferrara’s assistant will be an alumna of the La Verne softball team, Kelley Silagyi.

Silagyi is an accomplished softball player earning Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year in 2004 and 2006 along with All-American honors.

She also set La Verne records for career home runs, with 37, and single-season slugging percentage, with .947.

“I think as a head coach, Anna will do very well,” Silagyi said. “She brings a lot of knowledge from a Division I team and now that she has more control, she can implement all the ideas she already had as an assistant.”

The duo of Ferrara and Silagyi hope to continue the traditions of La Verne softball while trying out some new ideas.

“As a coach, I just want the girls to have fun while working hard and enjoy their time on the field, because for most college softball players this is the end of their softball journey,” Ferrara said.

Morgan Dobis can be reached at m.dobis15@yahoo.com.

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