Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
Email: JWilcox@ASA.edu Phone: 786-279-2618
Twitter: @ASASilverStorm /@ASAMiamiFB | Instagram: @ASASilverStorm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HIALEAH, FL – The strength of any college program is its head coach. The right coach, in the right situation, at the right time, can elevate an entire program.
As ASA College-Miami's softball program prepares to embark on its first full NJCAA season, ASA College-Miami Director of Athletics Kenney Wilcox announced the hiring of David Fernandez as the school's next head softball coach Friday morning.
Fernandez is the program's second head coach – replacing Geena Capitini, who led the program through the 2019 season but stepped down from the post in August.
Wilcox spoke highly of Fernandez and what he can bring to the program.
"I was impressed with David – the person – from our first meeting…and his resume made me believe that he's the right person to lead our softball program right now," Wilcox said. "He has some experience at the college level, which is great, but I like the fact that he helped build a successful high school program here in South Florida. So, he has relationships with local high school coaches and understands the lay of the land in the Florida softball world and I think that will help him tremendously."
"We're excited to have David a part of the Silver Storm family and I am looking forward to seeing how he leads our program," Wilcox added.
Fernandez, 32, spent the 2018-19 season working as an assistant coach at St. Thomas University (Fl.) helping the Lady Bobcats finish with a 24-18 record. Prior to that, he spent eight total years at Hialeah American High School – working as an assistant from 2011 to 2016 then taking over the reins as head coach for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
During his time at American, the team won eight consecutive district titles and he guided the team to back-to-back regional semifinal berths in his tenure as the head coach.
Ironically, it was Fernandez's time as American's head coach that introduced him to ASA Miami and one of his former players that "recruited" him to the school.
"As funny as it sounds, I was recruited here by a player," Fernandez said with a chuckle. "Pitcher Ashley Alfonso played for me at American and she just completed her freshman season here at ASA, so she was pushing hard for me to get the job. I believe that my being here is a 'right place, right time' thing. Everything kind of lined up…from the way things ended at St. Thomas University to the way this job came open to my familiarity with a couple of the players here at ASA, it worked out well."
"I am glad to be here at ASA Miami," Fernandez said.
Fernandez takes over a softball program still essentially in its infancy.
ASA's softball program played its inaugural season (2018-19) as a "club team" – meaning it would play a full schedule of games but would not be a part of a conference, be eligible for any NJCAA rankings, or be able to qualify for postseason play. Like many first-year programs, ASA Miami battled but found wins tough to come by. The Lady Silver Storm finished the year 3-19, but did produce a respectable team batting average (.322) and averaged just under four runs per game.
The 2019-20 season will be ASA Miami's first year as a full-NJCAA program, and Fernandez knows that in order for the program to take positive steps forward he must instill a new culture.
"There will be change," Fernandez began. "Even to something like uniforms…we want to do some redesigning there because I believe that if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, play good. So, we want to win the uniform battle every time we step on the field."
"We're going to be a team that's built on team-oriented goals but also makes sure we still service the individual goals of our student-athletes," Fernandez added. "That's how you get players to buy in, you create a competitive culture, and that makes the program better overall.