After transitioning to new owners and signing several key players this offseason, the Chicago Bandits have landed a new head coach for the 2017 National Pro Fastpitch season.
Sharonda McDonald, a University of Florida softball assistant, has been hired as the Bandits' new head coach, team officials announced Thursday. McDonald has been an assistant coach with the Florida Gators for the past two years.
"She comes highly recommended by her peers," said Bandits general manager Toni Calmeyn. "The amount of knowledge and experience that she has gained through not only having a successful playing career in the NPF, but also most recently as an assistant coach at Florida gives us the utmost confidence that she is the right fit to lead the Bandits."
The Bandits have won the NPF's title, the Cowles Cup, the past two seasons.
A three-time all-NPF selection during her six-year career in the league, McDonald garnered the prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases while with the Akron Racers. She ended the 2014 season with a career average over .270 to go along with more than 100 runs scored during her pro career.
"I am humbled to return to the NPF and such a historic program like the Chicago Bandits organization," said McDonald.
The Bandits, now owned and operated by the Village of Rosemont, will open their NPF season on June 1 with a three-game series against Akron.