Montvidas announced as Coach Summit Softball Keynote Speaker

Wed 27 Nov 2019

Craig Montvidas, one of Europe’s most decorated softball coaches over the last 30 years, has been announced as the Fastpitch Softball Keynote speaker for BaseballSoftballUK’s Coach Summit 2020.

The Coach Summit will be held on Saturday, 25 January 2020. After last year's highly successful Coach Summit, the 2020 summit will be returning to Milton Keynes, again hosted at the Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre

The keynote speaker for baseball is Baseball Canada’s Andre Lachance, who serves as Business and Sport Development Director and Head Coach of the Canadian Women's National Team.

The theme of this year's summit will be collaboration and maximising opportunities - to help take baseball and softball to the next level at both participation and talent levels. Following the successful staging of the MLB London Series and Olympic qualification campaigns in 2019, coaching will once again be at the forefront of our plans to grow and promote baseball and softball here in the UK.

Fastpitch Keynote speaker

Craig Montvidas is the Head Coach of the 2018 Women's European Premiere Cup champions Specchiasol Bussolengo in the Italian Softball League. The former Head Coach of the Netherlands Women Softball Team previously coached with Bussolengo in 1989 and is currently a member of the club’s Board of Directors.

Montvidas first played baseball in the Dutch big league in 1975-1984 for Giants Diemen (1975, 1977-1979), Kinheim (1976) and HCAW (1980-1984). American-born and raised, Montvidas started coaching in 1980 when he became the playing Head Coach of the baseball team of HCAW, who he also led in 1983-1985. He made his debut as a softball coach in 1981, when he also was the Head Coach of the HCAW women’s team. Montvidas led the softball squad of Bussum from 1981-1988. Thereafter, he coached one season for Bussolengo in Italy, then returned to the Netherlands, where he led the softball-team of Twins (1990-1994). He led HCAW to the Championship-title in 1985, 1987 and 1988, then wins again with Twins in 1994. With both teams, Montvidas also won an European Cup.

In 1997-1999, Montvidas led the Netherlands National Softball Team as its Head Coach. He went on to serve as Head Coach of the Greek National Softball Team (2000-2001) and the British National Team (2003-2007). In Greece, he helped create a softball programme to prepare for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He then became involved again with the Netherlands National Team in November 2008 when he was named as its new Head Coach. A year later, Montvidas became the coordinator of the entire Netherlands National Team Program, which also included the National Youth teams. With all these teams, Montvidas participated in several big international events, including several European Championships and World Championships.

In his second stint as Head Coach of the Netherlands, Montvidas was very successful, as he led the Orange squad to three consecutive unbeaten European titles (2009, 2011, 2013). The first title in 2009 was the first for the Dutch in 19 years. In 2010, he led the team to its first playoffs in 16 years and finished in eighth place. Following the 2010 result, the Netherlands ended up in sixth place in 2012 and 2014. Montvidas resigned as the team's Head Coach after conclusion of the 2014 World Championship in Haarlem (Netherlands), as he became the Head Coach of the professional Pennsylvania Rebellion a year later.

Besides his coaching activities, Montvidas also organized the successful baseball and softball camps of Pro-Motion, was the co-founder of an indoor softball competition in 1990 in Amsterdam (which ran for a few years) and conducted several instructional meetings during clinics in both the Netherlands and abroad. He still conducts clinics frequently.

Other events

Several other events will be combined with the Coach Summit over the weekend of 25-26 January in Milton Keynes:

  • The 2019 British Baseball & Softball Coach Awards 2020.  A Coaching Awards ceremony will again be staged in conjunction with the 2020 Coach Summit, taking place directly after the conclusion of sessions on Saturday evening.  These awards recognise and celebrate the very best of baseball and softball coaching in the UK over the past 12 months, and nominations for these awards are now open here.
  • Academy Sessions.  On Sunday 26 January, the keynote speakers from the Coach Summit will lead and deliver hands-on coaching and classroom sessions in nearby sports halls in Milton Keynes to athletes from the baseball and softball Academies They will be joined by High Performance Academy coaches.

Book your place!

Coach Summit tickets cost £80, but tickets will be available for just £50 if purchased on Black Friday weekend, 28 November – 2 December.

CLICK TO BUY TICKETS NOW!

Watch for future announcements on this website and on BSUK social media about the fastpitch softball keynote speaker and specific session topics.

For any enquiries about the Coach Summit, please contact Chris Rawlings

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