St. Louis, Mo. - Fontbonne University Director of Athletics Maria Buckel has announced that Casey Cromwell will join the Griffin family in June 2017. Cromwell will become the seventh head coach in Fontbonne softball history.
"The passion and enthusiasm that Coach Cromwell has for softball are contagious," stated Buckel. "I am so excited not only to see her share that passion with our team but also with future Griffins.
Cromwell's time at Fontbonne will be her first stint at the helm of any collegiate program and the first in NCAA Division III. She has had great success at the Division I level as both a student-athlete and assistant coach. Cromwell comes to Fontbonne from Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne where she spent two years as a graduate assistant before earning her Master's Degree this spring. Cromwell was in charge of the defensive efforts at IPFW and her duties also included strength and conditioning, recruiting, community service and team building. To add to her resume, she has also coached a plethera of instructional camps and clinics in various regions for girls ages 10 & up.
"I am extremely honored to be at the helm of Griffin Softball," commented Cromwell. "The opportunity to lead a team that has been so academically and athletically strong for many years is humbling. I am looking forward to many successful years at Fontbonne and thank Director of Athletics Maria Buckel for giving me this opportunity."
Prior to IPFW, Cromwell began her collegiate career at a junior college (Weatherford College) in Texas where she earned all-region and all-conference honors before transferring to Lamar University. At Lamar she was named third-team All-Southland in 2015, voted Golden Glove in 2013 and team MVP her junior and senior seasons. Cromwell was also given the team's Clutch Award and Offensive Player of the Year honor while garnering All-Southland Academic Honor Roll accolades.
"Casey's softball knowledge impressed us throughout the process but she is also committed to developing our student-athletes on and off the field," commented Buckel. "Outside of academic and athletic success, she wants to develop future leaders that give back to the community which is a big part of our mission at Fontbonne. I welcome her to the Fontbonne family and look forward to the future of Fontbonne softball under her direction."
Cromwell was a three-year captain where she started every game at Lamar as the second or third baseman. She finished her career as leader in homeruns (19), RBI's (69), doubles (21), was hit-by-pitch 29 times and recorded a career on-base percentage of .413.
Cromwell will be on campus by the last week of June. She replaces Danni Glixman who resigned after her first season.
Fontbonne softball is rich in winning traditions and has appeared in nine NCAA Tournament appearances, and has appeared in each of the last nine St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournaments. With program history dating back to 1994, the Griffins are nine-time SLIAC tournament champions and are 11-time SLIAC regular season champions. The softball program's archives can be found here.
Mike Lewis was hired as an assistant coach for Fontbonne University in the fall of 2015. He enters his third year of collegiate coaching this spring for our 2018 season. Lewis brings eight years of coaching experience from his select/travel team work with the St. Louis Illusions, St. Peters Royals and St. Louis Nemesis. He has taken his teams to numerous National tournaments with a 6th place finish in 2015.
Lewis will work alongside the staff with responsibilities in all aspects of the game. Mike has worked with pitchers and catchers in his select days as well as hitting. His expertise will be a valuable addition to the Griffins and he brings a positive energy to our program. He also knows the players in the St. Louis market so recruiting will be a big priority to go with his other assignments.
Mike lives in St. Charles with his wife Lori and has two children, son Kody and daughter Lindsey. Lindsey is a freshman playing softball at St. Charles Community College.