Aug. 5, 2004
Mike Larabee, an assistant coach at the University of Illinois the past three seasons, has been named the new head softball coach at Wright State University, WSU Athletics Director Michael Cusack announced Thursday.
Larabee, who will start immediately, replaces Sheila Nahrgang, who coached the Raiders for 12 years.
Mike brings a background as a player and coach that will provide immediate growth to our program, said Cusack. It is his passion and enthusiasm, however, that is most exciting. I am really looking forward to seeing those skills and attributes be applied to the development of our players.
Larabee was involved with all aspects of the Fighting Illini program, with his main duty on the field being working with the outfield. During his three years there, Illinois advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the first time in 2003 and, in 2004, the team finished #17 in the final USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association and second in the Big Ten standings. Illinois, who had a final record of 45-21-1, was the second seed at the NCAA Regional in Waco, Texas and fell just one game short of making the College World Series, dropping a 4-1 decision to #3 LSU.
I am very excited to be the softball coach at Wright State, said Larabee. The athletics department has a good family-like atmosphere and we both have the same type of vision for this program on both the Horizon League and national levels. Wright State has great facilities and it is a good fit for me and my family.
I look forward to building the softball program and establishing a winning tradition, added Larabee. I also look forward to working with the high school and travel ball coaches around the state and the region.
Before joining the Illinois staff, Larabee enjoyed a successful coaching career in the state of Washington. He spent four years as the head varsity softball coach, as well as an assistant football and wrestling coach, at Kentlake High School in Kent, Washington, where he also taught advanced weight training and speed development.
Larabee was named AAAA softball coach of the year in the state of Washington after his softball team finished second in the state in 2001 while placing fourth in the state tournament in 2000. Larabee also served a two-year stint (1996-97) as varsity softball coach and assistant football coach at Kentridge High School in Kent.
In six total seasons as a varsity softball coach, his teams compiled a record of 145-25 while he twice won Seattle-Tacoma All-Area Coach of the Year honors. Larabee also served two years as a pitching and outfield coach for the University of Puget Sound.
Larabee has enjoyed an extensive playing career in baseball and fast-pitch softball. He was a member of the U.S. National Men's Fastpitch team in 1996 and 2000 and also participated in the 1999 Pan American Games National Team Festival. He is also a three-time American Softball Association All-American, played in four U.S. Olympic Sports Festivals and has been named to the ISC All-World Team twice.
Larabee played collegiate baseball at MiraCosta and Green River Community Colleges and then at Washington State University, where he earned his B.S. degree in physical education in 1986. He also earned a M.S. degree in exercise science from Washington State in 1988. During his post-graduate stay, Larabee was an assistant baseball coach for the Cougars, working with the outfielders.
Larabee and his wife, Dawn, have a daughter, Michaela, and a son, John.
Story Courtesy Matt Zircher, Wright State Sports Information