News Rohlf To Emphasize Love Of The Game - Garrett College
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Campus News

June 27th, 2023

Rohlf to emphasize love of the game

Former Penn State Fayette coach to guide GC softball program

Alex Rohlf

Coach Rolph

Alex Rohlf knows something about building a women's softball program from scratch.

Rohlf took over a Penn State-Fayette program in 2022 coming off a three-win campaign and guided the Nittany Lions to 26 wins over the last two seasons. She is ready to do the same with Garrett College's women's softball program by emphasizing the joy of the game.

"At Fayette, we were coming out of the [three-win] COVID season," recalled Rohlf. "My top goal my first year was to make it fun again. They had so many other stressful things in their lives. Softball to me was the thing that should be fun."

Winning, of course, is also fun – and Rohlf's teams did plenty of that. The Nittany Lions made the playoffs during her first season as head coach and followed that up with a 15-win season this spring.

Rohlf built Fayette – a four-year institution and United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) member – without scholarships or residence halls. She said having both scholarships and on-campus housing (not to mention a turf field that will be ready this fall) should help immensely in rebuilding a Laker program that went 0-12 in 2023.

"What really sold me on Garrett when I came here for my interview was how welcoming everyone was and a strong sense of community," said Rohlf. "I was also impressed that everyone was really willing to provide the resources I needed to rebuild the program. I think that will be a big selling point to our student athletes as well."

Rohlf, who recently finished a master's degree in intercollegiate athletics, was also pleased that the full-time position included working within the athletic administration. She will serve as the athletic student success coordinator.

"I was looking for a way not only to coach but also to expand my athletic career," she noted.

Elizabeth Show, GC's co-athletics director, said Rohlf's personality and recruiting experience convinced the search committee she was the right person for the job.

"Her experience in her former position was similar to what she will be facing," said Show. "The committee felt that her personality and experience is what our athletics program is looking for to ensure student-athlete academic success and to rebuild the softball program."

Rohlf's player-development skills should also impress potential recruits. She developed a USCAA National Player of the Year and four all-Americans while coaching at Penn State Fayette.

Rohlf said she hopes to "build the basis of the team with local kids and fill out the roster with recruits from outside the county."

"There is so much softball talent in Western Maryland, West Virginia, Uniontown, and the Pittsburgh area," noted Rohlf. "I think the facilities, the residence halls, and the scholarship money will all help to attract those prospects."

Rohlf said she sees herself "as a player's coach."

"The players are going to come first," she said. "You want them to love the experience and love the game. It's all about the student athletes."