Interim softball coach named

Rich Lipinski, who helped lead the Penn State Hazleton Lady Lions to their second consecutive United States Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series appearance in 2015 as the team's hitting coach, has been named interim head coach of Penn State Hazleton softball, Director of Athletics Ryan Ehrie announced.

Lipinski takes over the position in the wake of the recent passing of longtime head coach Marty Mrozinski. As an integral part of Mrozinski's staff, Lipinski has served as assistant coach and hitting instructor for the past 12 seasons. In that time, the team has won two Penn State University Athletic Conference titles, successfully appeared in three USCAA National Tournaments and had 10 straight winning seasons.

"We're fortunate to have an experienced coach who is familiar with Penn State Hazleton athletics, our softball program and the PSUAC," Ehrie said. "Coach Lipinski knows this team better than anyone, and his leadership and guidance over these past several weeks has been invaluable to our student-athletes and the Penn State Hazleton community during this difficult time."

Lipinski said, "The passing of Coach Marty has left a hole in our team in so many ways. My main goal is to encourage the team to regroup and focus on the upcoming season."

With eight returning players from last year's PSUAC runner-up squad and a number of outstanding newcomers, 2016 is poised to be another terrific season for the Lady Lions. "We look forward to another very good season at Penn State Hazleton," Lipinski said. "The incoming players have their own unique talents that should blend nicely with the returning squad, who are coming off a 30-win season in 2015."

Prior to his stint with Penn State Hazleton softball, Lipinski served as softball hitting coach at Bishop Hafey High School from 2001-2003 and coached with the Amateur Softball Association of Pennsylvania and at the Little League level.

Lipinski is a self-employed marketing consultant who writes a monthly baseball article for a local magazine and is a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). He and his wife, Trish, have two daughters, Abby and Alexandra.