Stan Karich, a longtime respected coach and promoter of girls' fastpitch softball in the Twin Ports community, embarks on his eighth year with the UMD coaching staff in 2019. Karich works in all facets of the game, with his emphasis keyed on the pitching staff and hitting.
This past spring, Karich piloted a pair of pitchers to career seasons as the Bulldogs made their first NCAA Super Regional appearance in program history. Valerie Hohol, a two-time NSIC Elite 18 Award winner, went 19-9 with a 2.99 ERA and 21 complete games. Also under his guidance, Breanna Swint registered the first 20-plus win season since 2012 with a 21-5 record and a 3.21 ERA.
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 stint, thus far, has seen over 50 school single-season and career records either matched or shattered including team marks for games played (60), runs (422), home runs (71), slugging percentage (.536), stolen bases (129), stolen base attempts (145), and walks (224). Individually, several Bulldogs earned post season awards. In addition to Kerr, Jeffers and Nealer, first team All-NSIC selections include Hannah Schmoll (2018), 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. During his final year of coaching in 2015, 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.
Allie Anttila, a former standout NCAA Division I shortstop/outfielder, joined the UMD softball staff in 2017 as an assistant coach and is in her third season of helping out the Bulldogs.
Anttila mentored the infield to three NSIC Gold Gloves, Lauren Oberle (3B), Becky Smith (SS) and Natalie Wright (2B), this past spring. The season prior, UMD posted a .974 fielding percentage -- the best figure in program history -- to rank 11th among all NCAA Division II clubs and put Schmoll and Wright on the Gold Glove Team for a second straight season.
A native of Antioch, Ill., Anttila started four seasons for Georgetown University and capped off her stellar career in 2014 with a selection to the All-Big East second team (after collaring third team honors the previous spring). Anttila, who was the Hoyas' team captain that season, holds a share of the NCAA I single-game records for both home runs (4) and total bases (16), which she registered in a 12-11 triumph over Rutgers University on April 6, 2013. That afternoon, she also set a Georgetown mark for RBI (10, one shy of the NCAA mark) while becoming the only NCAA I player to date to ever hit for the home-run cycle (solo, two-run, three-run and grand slam).
Inducted into the Antioch High School Hall of Fame in 2014 (she was a two-time All-State shortstop with the Sequoits), Anttila coached one year of softball (2015-16) with the Twin Ports Rampage U14 squad.
She graduated from Georgetown in 2014 with bachelor's degrees in marketing and management and currently is employed at Maurices in Duluth as a social media marketing analyst.