Baseball, softball coaches have much in common
The coaches of RIT's baseball and softball teams both played on those teams during their student years at RIT. To find out more about their experiences and memories as well as their hopes for this year's teams, Tiger Sports interviewed softball coach Krissy Mamon '01, '06 and baseball coach Rob Grow '88. Here's what they had to say:
What was the reason you came to RIT?
Mamon: I came to RIT for their photography programs. RIT was actually the only
school I applied to because I was so determined to come. If I hadn't been accepted, my plan was to attend a community school for two years and try again! The athletics were a bonus.
Grow: I came to RIT to play baseball and get a great education.
What were your greatest memories at RIT as a student?
Mamon: My greatest memories were definitely my softball seasons. I have made friends with people that will always be a part of my life. I didn't realize it then, but looking back, the time I spent in the darkrooms and studios were amazing as well but I took it all for granted while in school.
Grow: We had a tough schedule with probably 12 games versus Division 1 teams and beating a D1 team was always nice. However, my best memories are more tied to the friendships developed by being part of the baseball team.
What is your greatest coaching memory?
Mamon: My greatest coaching memory would have to be this past fall when I received a card from my entire team congratulating me on being inducted into the RIT Athletic Hall of Fame (see page 40). It meant a lot coming from these kids. This team is really something special.
Grow: There have been a lot of great memories including coaching while Jason Rowland '95, '96 (hospitality and service management) and Kurt Phillipson '04 (civil engineering technology) threw no hitters; Kurt threw his in his last college start. However, the best memory probably is when we won the ECAC Championship in 2006. It was great to see the emotion and how much that team and the parents truly cared for each other.
How do your teams look for the 2009 season?
Mamon: I am really excited about this season and the chemistry that this year's team has. Our team is young, but they are good and they are willing to do what it takes to win. They have been working hard all winter. Our team is led by three strong captains, Jenna Mausolf (our lone senior), the anchor of our infield, Emily McPherson, and our ace, Carlissa Cole. Both Emily and Carlissa are sophomores eligibility-wise and already have the league (Empire 8) talking. I am confident that with these three leading our team, we are going to be tough to beat. I believe our major strength this year is that we're going to be very solid defensively. Our assistant coach, Keith Wing, works really well with the girls and they respond to him as well. We have three freshman pitchers that I really think can be dominant. Now we just need to produce some runs for these girls!
Grow: The team should be very good; we are young and talented with a great mix of veteran leadership. We return almost all of our pitching and have added some very talented freshman. I would say our strengths will lie in pitching and defense. It may take us a few games to find our offensive identity but I believe we have the most athletic and deepest team we have ever had.
How do you feel that coaching has affected other areas of your life?
Mamon: Coaching has without a doubt affected my life. I am so grateful to be a part of these girls' lives. To see them grow into young women is really something. Working full time and coaching, I feel like I have two full-time jobs. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Grow: Coaching at RIT has been a great experience that has brought me more friendship than I could have ever imagined. It certainly is a huge time commitment but I have tried to involve my family, friends, alumni and the community as much as possible with RIT baseball.
How do you feel your RIT education prepared you not only for coaching, but in your day-to-day jobs?
Mamon: When I bring in recruits I tell them that straight-out, yes, RIT is an expensive school but it is truly worth every penny. RIT helps prepare students above and beyond. One of the greatest things I learned from RIT was how to manage my time. Practicing a couple of hours a day and going to class really helped me to budget my time and stay on top of my studies.
Grow: I think that RIT academically gave me a great skill set and the co-op program helped me better understand why I was learning certain things and made me a better student. I firmly believe that the education combined with the athletics makes RIT the best college choice.
What is some advice you would give to upcoming graduates?
Mamon: My advice to them: Enjoy your time as a college student! It's the time of your life! When you get out and you are interviewing, be confident, look people in the eye and ask questions!
Grow: I would tell them to enjoy what they have now because it is precious time and it is one of the best times of their lives. I would also tell them that the relationships that they are building right now at RIT are relationships that they will have for the rest of their lives.
If the baseball and softball teams were to play a seven-inning game under softball rules, who would win?
Mamon: Haha! Definitely softball! But it's funny you should ask because some of the guys end up playing fastpitch softball after they graduate. I've gotten the chance to pitch against some of them and it's always a battle when they come to the plate!
Grow: I think baseball would win if Krissy pitched for the baseball team. Otherwise softball would win.
Rob Grow '88 (marketing) is entering his 17th season as head baseball coach. He has led the Tigers to three straight 22-win seasons, including back-to-back school record 24-win seasons in 2006 and 2007. Grow is RIT's all-time leader in coaching wins with 287.
He played three seasons and is among the all-time Tiger leaders in runs scored, walks and on-base percentage. In 1988, he set the Tiger single-season record with a .554 on-base percentage. Grow was inducted into the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
In addition to coaching, Grow is director of Reunions and Affinity Groups, RIT Office of Alumni Relations.
Krissy Mamon '01 (biomedical photography), '06 (print media) was one of the most prolific pitchers in RIT softball history. She compiled a 43-21 won-lost record, leading the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001.
She earned GTE Academic All-American honors in 2000 and 2001 and was 2001 Senior Female Athlete of the Year. After graduation, she returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach and took over as head coach in 2007. She was inducted into the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mamon works as an imaging scientist at Advanced Document Imaging in Henrietta, N.Y.