Stan Karich, a longtime respected coach and promoter of girls' fastpitch softball in the Twin Ports community, embarks on his sixth year with the UMD coaching staff in 2016-17. Karich works in all facets of the game, with his emphasis keyed on the pitching staff, infield defense and hitting.
During his first two years at UMD, Karich helped steer the Bulldogs to the 2012 NCAA tournament and a share of the 2013 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title. During that season, he mentored ace Julia Nealer who was bestowed with a pair of Pitcher of the Week nods and a first team all-conference accolade on her way to a 25-5 record with a 1.58 ERA, and the rest of the staff to a 2.04 ERA. Karich also advised the middle infield duo of Tyra Kerr, a three-time NSIC first team selection and 2012 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, and Kierra Jeffers, a two-time all-conference honoree. Karich's short stint, thus far, has seen over 50 school single-season and career records either matched or shattered including team marks for games played (60), home runs (61), slugging % (.489), stolen bases (112) stolen base attempts (133), and walks (160). Individually, several Bulldogs earned post season awards. In addition to Kerr, Jeffers and Nealer, first team All-NSIC selections include Ashley Lewis (2016), Natalie Wright (2016) Jordan Rice (2015), Hannah Schmoll (2015) and Sami Schnyder (2014). Both Schmoll and Becky Smith were top 10 finalists for the NFCA's inaugural Freshman of the Year Award in 2014.
Karich's extensive head coaching resume includes a 10-year stint at Duluth East School High School, where he directed the softball Greyhounds to a 121-73 record from 1998 to 2007 and a runnerup finish at the 2003 Section 7AAA playoffs. Prior to that, Karich served as an assistant coach with the Duluth Central High School program for three seasons (1995-97) and was part of a Trojan club that qualified for the 1996 Minnesota State Class AAA Tournament. Karich also worked as an assistant coach at Barnum High School during the spring of 2010 when the Bombers advanced all the way to the title game of the Minnesota State Class A Tournament. His emphasis was on hitting and developing the Bomber pitching staff.
In 2001, Karich founded the Duluth Aerials Softball Club and since that time has racked up over 500 victories coaching at various levels -- including the 18A Elite which took third place in the 2008 Northern National Tournament and were runnersup in 2010 at the Minnesota State Tournament. This past summer his Aerials 16A team finished in third place in both the NAFA and ASA/USA 16A Northern National tournaments with a career best overall record of 46-11-1 for the season.
Raised in Aurora, Minn., Karich was fortunate to have played in an era when fastpitch softball was at it’s best. He attributes his love and knowledge of the game to those experienced players that mentored him. He graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and coaching.