Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University softball head coach Sarah Rotta has bolstered her coaching staff in preparation for the upcoming 2015 campaign.
Rotta has appointed Kristine Dolunt, who most recently served as a volunteer assistant coach at FSU last spring, as the school's first-ever part-time assistant coach. In addition, Bryan Rourke will join the staff this year as a volunteer assistant for the Bulldogs.
"I'm thrilled to add Kristine as our first paid assistant coach and believe she'll do an outstanding job as we continue to build a championship program," said Rotta. "Bryan also brings a great deal of experience and will be a great addition to our staff."
Dolunt, who will coach the outfielders, played collegiate softball as a three-year letterwinner under Rotta at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The three-time Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Champions of Character Award recipient was a two-time team captain and later served as an assistant coach at Michigan-Dearborn from 2011-13, assisting with fundamentals, leadership, fundraising, recruiting and more.
During her time on the Bulldog staff last spring, Dolunt helped organize camps, coordinated travel, assisted with skill development and game strategy while also helping manage the budget among other duties.
"I'm excited to be able to continue on Coach Rotta's staff in this role," said Dolunt. "Last spring was a great learning experience and I'm looking forward to the opportunity."
Dolunt earned her bachelor's degree from Michigan-Dearborn in communications and psychology and is currently pursuing a master's degree in athletic administration and coaching from Concordia University-Irvine (Calif.). Besides her time as a collegiate coach, she's also served as an instructor at the Team USA Softball Camp in Allen Park and previously was a middle school basketball coach. She also was an athletics department intern at Michigan-Dearborn and worked as a stand lead at Ford Field.
The daughter of Steve and Diane Dolunt, Kristine was a four-year letterwinner in basketball and softball at Cabrini High School in Allen Park. The Dearborn native helped lead her prep team to back-to-back state championships and was a two-time all-state and all-metro honoree in addition to earning all-conference and all-catholic league recognition multiple times.
Meanwhile, Rourke also brings significant experience to the Bulldog staff, having served the last four years as a student manager for the women's softball team under head coach Jacquie Joseph at Michigan State University. While with the Spartans, he assisted with player development, operations, daily practices, year-round camps and evaluations besides other duties. He also was an intern for the MSU Athletics Ticket Office and helped process pregame sales for various events along with providing event day administrative support.
A four-year baseball letterwinner on the prep level, Rourke also coached the Detroit Compuware Girls Fastpitch 14 and under travel team in the summer of 2013. In his role as the program's coach, he helped squad members develop their softball careers and designed weekly practices and workouts while working with aspiring student-athletes in all facets of the game.
Rourke has also been active off the field and currently serves as a Passion Speaker with the American Heart Association as a heart survivor. He earned an Army National Guard Scholar-Athlete Award and was a National Honor Society member. He has also worked at the Northwestern University Softball Camp and competed on the prep level in hockey, tennis, baseball and golf, earning all-conference and all-academic recognition in each sport.
"Both Kristine and Bryan will have a huge impact on our program as we move forward," said Rotta. "Both of them will be involved in recruiting and we'll work together to develop our current and future student-athletes both on and off the field."
The Bulldogs are currently midst fall practice drills and will play a fall slate of games in September and October. The official 2015 spring campaign will get underway in late February and early March.
Ferris State lost only a pair of seniors from last season's team and will return 11 letterwinners along with six new additions for the 2015 season.