NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State softball coach Tom Opdenbrouw has filled his coaching staff with the addition of Katie Burkhart-Gooch and Matt Danna. Burkhart will be responsible for the pitchers and serve as camp coordinator, while Danna will oversee the outfielders and team travel.
Burkhart, an All-American at Arizona State, holds every major pitching record for the Sun Devils including wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. She was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, Burkhart led the Sun Devils to a National Championship and earned NCAA Women’s College World Series Most Valuable Player honors.
Burkhart was the number one overall selection in the 2008 NPF Draft, and produced an exceptional rookie season, which culminated in NPF Player of the Year honors. In 2009, she earned a place on the United States National Team where she helped her team to a gold medal at the Japan Cup.
Burkhart pitched professionally in the NPF for four seasons, in Japan with Team Shokki for two years and competed one year in Italy. In 2012, Burkhart served as the pitching coach at Central Connecticut State and helped the Blue Devils to their first ever 30-win season.
Burkhart has been inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame, as well as the San Luis Obispo High School Hall of Fame and is the founder of pitchresponsibly.com.
“Katie brings a tremendous amount of experience to our Tiger Family and knows what it takes to be a Champion,” Opdenbrouw said. “She has had tremendous success in the circle throughout her career. Her technical knowledge of pitching, from the mechanics to the mental side is truly impressive. Katie is a very enthusiastic teacher of the game and will be a great mentor for our program. I was looking for someone who was a great teacher of pitching, an excellent communicator, had a competitive fire, and shared my values, vision, and goals. Katie Burkhart exemplified all of these qualities!”
Danna is in his second year at Tennessee State. During his first year, he served as an equipment manager graduate assistant for football. Danna moved to a manager position with the softball program in the spring.
Danna graduated from Northwestern (La.) State where he worked as an equipment manager student-assistant. In his final year at NSU, Danna held the position of Baseball Director of Operations.
“Matt brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion to our staff,” Opdenbrouw commented. “He has a tremendous work ethic, is highly organized, and is a great communicator. Matt is a sponge when it comes to knowledge in the game, recruiting, and office skills. I truly believe he is a rising star in our sport.”