New Softball Staff in Place
July 25, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana softball head coach Stacey Phillips announced today the hiring of Tarrah Beyster and Michelle Puls for the vacant assistant coaches positions on the IU women's softball staff. Phillips, who served as the interim head coach for the 2005 season, recently has been named head coach for the 2006 season.
"Both coach Beyster and Puls are great additions to our program," Phillips said. "The two bring great experience on and off the field. Their knowledge of the game will be an asset in rebuilding this program into a top competitor in the Big Ten Conference."
Beyster, who joins the Hoosiers after serving as an assistant coach at Bradley University, comes with a list of accomplishments and professional experience that will aid in the rebuilding of the IU program.
A former Oregon State standout, Beyster completed a stellar collegiate career in Corvallis, Ore., before serving two years as an assistant softball coach at Bradley. A four-time All-America honoree, Beyster worked primarily with the pitchers, while also assisting with the Braves' recruiting efforts.
Additionally, Beyster helped guide the Braves to a 29-29 overall performance in 2005, marking the best record for the program since completing the 1995 season at 35-20-1.
Beyster continues to play professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch league as a member of the Omaha Comets.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Beyster concluded a highly decorated collegiate career in 2000, and went on to tour during the summer of 2003. A three-time honoree as the Female Athlete of the Year at Oregon State, Beyster held at one time 24 school records, and is one of only two female student-athletes in any sport to have her number retired at Oregon State.
A four-time NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-American, Beyster served as the Beavers' first All-American since 1983 and the first OSU softball player to earn first team All-America Softball honors. Named the NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Oregon in 2000, Beyster helped lead the Beavers to their initial NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 1999 and a return trip in 2000.
An Academic All-American and honors student, Beyster earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minored in sociology at OSU. Prior to touring with the NFPL in the summer of 2003, she served as an undergraduate coach during the 2001 season and head varsity softball coach at West Albany High School during the 2002-03 school year. Beyster is a 1996 graduate of Chula Vista (Calif.) High School.
"Tarrah was one of the top pitching coach candidates in the country," Phillips said. "She will not only work with our pitchers, but has such an impressive hitting resume, that she will also have a strong hand in helping mold our offensive output. Tarrah is very excited about the opportunity to work at such a great University, and I am excited to work with her!"
Puls, who is no stranger to the sport of softball as a student-athlete, brings with her a career that is fluent in success on and off the field.
Puls, a former standout at Maine, served as the interim head coach of her alma mater for the 2005 season after serving the last five seasons as Maine's assistant coach. As head coach, Puls led Maine to a 28-23 mark and claimed the America East Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history, first since 1994. While at Maine, Puls led the Bears to multiple years of being one of the top defensive teams in the conference.
The former Maine coach comes to IU with extensive knowledge of the game, while also boasting a professional playing resume with the Akron Racers of the Women's Professional Softball League.
While a student-athlete at Maine, Puls was the first individual to earn conference Player of the Year honors in two consecutive seasons. She received Co-America East Player of the Year in 1997 after leading the conference with a .406 batting average, followed by a .381 average in 1998 to garner the honor a second time. She also was selected All-Northeast Regional and New England College Coaches Association All-Star first teams in 1997 and second team in 1998.
Upon her graduation, she held Maine career records for games (178), at bats (527), runs (105), hits (184), most doubles in a season (16) and season marks for doubles (16) and runs (39).
Under Puls' direction, four Black Bear infielders earned All-America East honors over the past three seasons. Puls became instrumental in the development of former Black Bear catcher Sara Jewett, the America East and ECAC Player of the Year in 2000.
Puls is a native of Bangor, Maine, and attended Bangor High School. The Bangor native graduated from the University of Maine in 1998 with a degree in natural resources with a concentration in land-use management.
"With Michelle's coaching experience, up-beat attitude and will to win, there was no question about hiring her for the position," Phillips said. "From the first moment I spoke with her and heard her philosophies, I felt she was going to be a perfect fit with our program. Michelle is very eager to further her career as a coach at Indiana University and in a very competitive conference that is the Big Ten."
Puls' duties will include working with the Hoosier hitters and outfielders.
The IU women's softball team will begin its fall campaign with a road trip to Orland Park, Ill., where it will compete at the Chicagoland Fall Classic Sept.16-18.
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