Knudtson is new Tiger softball coach
Lynzi Knudtson is relying on her passion for softball to carry into her coaching.
Knudtson has been hired as the new varsity softball coach in New Richmond. She is the third coach in three years for the Tigers. Roger Stippel served as the varsity coach in 2016, after Emily Dabrowski had been the coach for several seasons.
Knudtson served as the junior varsity coach under Stippel last season. She said several of the coaches in the program are returning, including pitching coach Mike Peterson and varsity assistant Caitlynn Singerhouse.
Knudtson, 24, is a graduate of Melrose-Mindoro HIgh School, where she was a three-sport athlete. Knudtson played collegiately at UW-Stout, where she was team captain in her junior and senior seasons. As a senior she was named to the All-WIAC Sportsmanship Team. She finished her career ranking second all time in sacrifice hits for the Blue Devils. She received her team's Best Leader Award for her senior season. She said leadership comes naturally to her and she hopes to convey her love of softball to her players.
"I have a strong presence. I think people can feel that about me," Knudtson said. "I know the game well and I understand girls. I'm not scared to tell it like it is."
Knudtson learned softball at an early age. Her dad played fastpitch for more than 30 years.
"Every weekend was at a softball tournament," she recalled.
In high school, Knudtson pitched and played shortstop. Her first two seasons in college were spent at second base. She shifted to shortstop for her final two seasons.
Knudtson was hired a year ago to teach in New Richmond. She is special education teacher at Starr Elementary. She said serving under Stippel last year was good preparation for becoming a head coach.
"Roger is a fantastic coach. I love how he thinks about the game," she said, crediting Stippel with teaching her ways to better communicate with the athletes. "I have always wanted to have a program of my own," she said. "I have learned from a lot of great coaches and I want to pass that knowledge along."
Knudtson is already working with the youth softball association to continue the strong communication between the high school and youth programs. She said she hopes to stay with the program for a number of years.
Her fiance is from River Falls, which is why Knudtson wanted to settle in this area. When she was offered a job in New Richmond, she jumped at the chance.
"They're a model school for a lot of schools in Wisconsin," Knudtson said of her excitement about getting hired in New Richmond. "We have such a great staff here (at Starr Elementary). I could not ask for a better school to be in."