Racers Reach Agreement To Extend Coach Brian Levin’s Contract For 2016

Head Coach Brian Levin – Akron Racers
AKRON, OH – January 29, 2016 – The Akron Racers have reached an agreement to extend Field Manager, Brian Levin’s contract for 2016. The 2016 season marks Levin’s third season at the controls for the Racers.
Levin and Assistant Coach, Dustin Combs, were named the 2014 NPF Coaching Staff of the Year after guiding the Racers to a berth in the 2014 NPF Championship Series in just their first season in the league. The Racers 24-24 regular season mark produced eight additional wins over the 2013 campaign (16-32).
“I’m thrilled that Brian is returning to our program this summer,” explained GM, Joey Arrietta. “He has a confident corps of veteran players that are poised and ready for a run at a title.”
“I enjoy coaching this team a lot,” Levin said.  “It’s a lot of fun to be around the players and work with them, and the fan base in Akron is the best in the NPF.”
Akron entered the postseason as the third seed in 2014 and knocked off the heavily favored second seeded Chicago Bandits. The Racers grabbed a two-games-to-one edge vaulting Akron into their first playoff final since 2005 against the number one seed, the USSSA Pride.
The Racers rode the duo of Lisa Norris and Jessica Garcia to victory in that series as Norris through a pair of complete game victories in Games 1 and 3, while Garcia delivered a two-run double and a solo home run to account for Akron’s offense in the victories.
The Racers came up just short in the championship series, falling 2-0 to the USSSA Pride.  In Game 1, Akron was on the wrong side of 1-0 pitching duel between the Racers Rachele Fico and Cat Osterman from the Pride.  A seven run rally in the top of the sixth inning for the Pride turned a 2-1 Akron advantage into an 8-3 defeat.
“The goal is always to win a championship,” Levin said.  “We have a great group of vets in (Sarah) Pauly, (Taylor) Schlopy and Kelley (Montalvo) to build around with Ashley Thomas and Aimee Creger, too.
“Bringing in a player like A.J. Andrews it’s exciting to work with that kind of speed.”
Last season the Racers again entered the postseason as the third seed and faced off against eventual Cowles Cup champion, Chicago, this time coming up short against the Bandits, 2-0.
In addition to coaching the Racers, Levin has been the head softball coach at the University of Missouri-St. Louis for the past six seasons, where he is the program’s all-time coaching wins record holder.  Last season, the Tritons won their third straight Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship.  UMSL needed just one more win to advance to the Division II College World Series a year ago.  Levin was named the 2015 GLVC Coach of the Year.
Before coaching at UMSL, Levin spent one year as the coach at Murray State University.  Levin attended Peru State University where he played both football and baseball.  Levin was an All-American placekicker for the football team and hit .344 for the baseball, where he was a two-time All-Conference selection.
Levin also spent 20 years in the military, including 15 stationed at Ft. Campbell, Ky., with the 5th Special Forces Group. While stationed at Ft. Campbell he was an active volunteer coach for football, baseball and softball at Ft. Campbell High School.
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th season of play in 2016.  The Racers competed in the Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004.  Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN.  The league, created to give elite female fast pitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).  NPF is the official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fast pitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com.
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