FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas head softball coach Mike Larabee was selected as a USA Women’s National Team assistant coach over the weekend by the team’s selection committee.
The second-year head coach of the Razorbacks will assist at a National Team selection camp in Chula Vista, Calif., in June as well as three training/exhibition games on the east coast throughout the summer. His summer duties cap off with the Canadian Open, July 7-17, in Surrey, B.C.
"It is just a great honor to be able to work with the National Team and the great coaches that I’m going to be surrounded with," Larabee said. "To be able to use my experiences playing on the men’s National Team and share that with the players, I think will be helpful."Larabee will coach alongside South Florida’s head coach Ken Eriksen, who was named as the 2011 National Team head coach. The other assistants selected include Olympic Gold Medalists Tairia Flowers (Head Coach at Cal State Northridge) and Stacey Nuveman (Assistant Coach at San Diego State), who were each athletes at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Mike White (Head Coach at the University of Oregon) is also joining the Team USA staff this summer.
"With a lot of the former Olympians deciding to retire or play in the professional league, it’s going to open up a lot of opportunities," Larabee said. "It’s going to be very competitive and very exciting to see who ends up becoming part of the program."
Last summer, Larabee was an assistant with the USA Futures Team where he coached at the 2010 KFC World Cup of Softball presented by Six Flags. With the assistance of Larabee, the Futures Team picked up a bronze medal after facing the three-time Olympic gold medal winning Team USA.
Larabee is a three-time member of the USA Women’s National Team Coaching Pool. Last year, Larabee was an assistant coach on the gold-medal winning USA Softball Pan American Qualifier Team in Maracay, Venezuela. He was also selected to the staff for both the 2005-08 and 2009-12 Olympic Quadrenniums. In past duties with the National Team, Larabee has served on the selection camp committee and coaching staff at the 2006 World University Games in Taiwan.
He was a member of the U.S. National Men’s Fastpitch Team and has been named an American Softball Association All-American three times.
The selection of the staff for the Pan American Games, October 17-23 in Guadalajara, Mexico, will be made after the Women’s National Team Selection Camp in Chula Vista, Calif., June 13-17.
Larabee has coached the Razorbacks to a 9-11 non-conference start this season. A mid-week game on Wednesday closes out the first part of the schedule before the Razorbacks begin conference play at the home opener at Bogle Park on Friday, March 11, against Auburn.