TAMPA (WFLA) – Tampa and the University of South Florida will be well represented at the 2020 Olympic Games as head coach Ken Eriksen has been named head coach of the U.S. Softball Olympic team.
Eriksen’s journey to Olympic Head Coach began in 1987 as men’s fastpitch player before transitioning into coaching within the USA Softball WNT program in 2002.
We are so unbelievably proud to announce that our head coach, Ken Eriksen has been officially selected to guide @USASoftball to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as softball returns to the Olympic Games for the first time since 2008!
READ: https://t.co/bknotgkCU7#HornsUp pic.twitter.com/yQSuDPJlnB— USF Softball (@USFSoftball) May 21, 2019
Eriksen is currently the Head Coach at the University of South Florida, and has previous Olympic experience, having served as an Assistant Coach for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team.
“First of all, I am humbled by the fact that I am able to follow in the footsteps of two of my mentors in fast pitch softball, Ralph Raymond and Mike Candrea, the last two coaches to lead Team USA in the Olympics,” said Eriksen. “Coach Raymond and I had shared a few dinners and talked the game many times over the last 25 years. I will miss him tremendously. Coach Candrea’s philosophy has been one for the ages. He always puts the ‘game’ above everything. It’s all about the ‘game’ and how you approach it with people that fit your approach as a coach. His simplicity and his athlete-centered approach has lent itself well to Team USA even after he retired from the National Team.”
This is softball return following the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Eriksen in his tenure as Head Coach, has guided the U.S. to two WBSC World Championship Gold Medals (2016, 2018) and two Silver Medals (2012, 2014), a Pan American Games Gold Medal (2011) and Silver Medal (2015).
The Summer Olympic Games begin July 24, 2020.