IPFW head softball coach Germaine Fairchild has announced that Amber Bowman, formerly the head coach at Rio Grande University, and Casey Cromwell, former student-athlete at Lamar University, have been named the program’s assistant coach and graduate assistant coach, respectively, for the 2016 season.
A 2011 alumnae of Rio Grande, Bowman helped lead the RedStorm to a 32-16 record in her first and only season as head coach in 2015. Her squad won the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) tournament, and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament before falling to eventual NAIA Softball World Series participant Campbellsville. During the season Rio Grande opened 5-6 before winning 18 of its next 21 games, improving to 23-9 and receiving votes in the NAIA National Poll.
"I’m excited to get the opportunity to work with Germaine," said Bowman. "I’m looking forward to coming out to IPFW and help rebuild its program."
Prior to her season as head coach at Rio Grande, the Hebron, Ohio, native was an assistant coach at the University of Northwestern Ohio in 2014. The previous two seasons saw Bowman earn her master’s degree as a graduate assistant coach at Rio Grande following the conclusion of her playing career.
"Amber’s enthusiasm, proven coaching success, and love of coaching will be instrumental in our efforts to continue building and strengthening our softball program," said Fairchild. "We are excited to have someone with Amber’s level of experience joining our staff and athletic department."
As a student-athlete, Bowman was a four-year starter at shortstop for the RedStorm, earning All-Mid-South Conference (MSC) honors as a senior, and honorable mention All-MSC as a junior. She was named to the All-MSC Academic Team both seasons.
Cromwell was named third-team All-Southland Conference in 2015, and was also given the team’s Clutch Award and the Offensive Player of the Year honor. She was a three-time team captain, and was named to the All-Southland Academic Second Team in 2015.
"I’m excited to start the next chapter in my softball book," said Cromwell. "I’m ready to work with Coach Fairchild and Amber Bowen, and will learn a lot from them. I’m excited to get started."
She played and started in every game during her three-year Lamar career. She ended her career as the program’s career leader in home runs (19), RBI’s (69), doubles (21), and times hit by pitch (29). In 2015 the Lamar squad set a program record for wins (26), and posted a program-best third-place finish at the Southland Conference Tournament.
"Casey has just completed a highly successful career as a Division I softball student-athlete, and we feel fortunate that she has chosen IPFW to pursue her master’s degree and further develop her coaching skills," said Fairchild. "Her love of the game and passion for coaching will set a wonderful example for our student-athletes."