Former G-T Standout To Lead Waldorf Softball Program
FOREST CITY It wasn’t all that many years ago that Lexy Determan was pitching for the Graettinger-Terril Softball Team. Now, the Terril native has been selected to lead Waldorf College softball as the team’s new head coach.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead a program that has a rich history of success both on and off the field,”Determan said.
Determan, who was head coach at NCAA Division III’s MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. for the past two seasons, was announced as the next Warriors coach on Friday.
“Lexy brings an outstanding reputation with her to Waldorf,” said Bart Gray, Waldorf director of athletics.
During Determan’s time at MacMurray, she revitalized the college’s softball program. In 2015, the 26-year-old coach was named the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Coach of the Year while leading the Highlanders to their first SLIAC Tournament appearance since 1999.
“Being selected as the Coach of the Year in her former conference adds credibility to a young coach who is already known for her hard work,” Gray said. “She successfully turned her former team around and we look forward to Lexy’s tenure as head softball coach.”
Determan inherits a Waldorf program that enjoyed a winning tradition under former coach Denny Gilbertson, who compiled a 738-275 career record in 20 seasons with the Warriors. Gilbertson ended his tenure at Waldorf ranked fifth in career wins among National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) coaches. The 2015 squad also earned NAIA Scholar-Team honors.
“Receiving this opportunity at a program that has had so much success and such strong leadership with Coach Gilbertson is a great move for my career,” Determan said. “Although I have some very big shoes to fill, I really look forward to adding to the success and furthering the tradition.”
Building relationships with players is at the core of Determan’s coaching philosophy that she brings to the Warriors.
“I believe understanding each individual is a necessity in building and maintaining a strong program,” Determan said. “I look forward to building on the talents and strengths that each player will bring to campus while allowing them to develop and work on their weaknesses here as well.”
Determan said the small-town atmosphere of Forest City and Waldorf’s close-knit campus help create a positive environment for student-athletes, allowing them to fulfill the college’s mission to live, learn and serve.
“Small schools also provide a great opportunity for an individual to grow in a lot of different areas and to be involved in other activities on campus” Determan said.
In addition to coaching at MacMurray, Determan served as the college’s sports information director for two years. She also worked as an assistant coach at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, serving as the pitching coach for the Tigers from 2011 to 2013. Iowa Wesleyan’s 2013 team put together a fourth-place finish in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Tournament. Determan developed and coached a USCAA first-team All-American pitcher, who recorded a 1.04 earned run average.
Aside from coaching at the collegiate level, Determan spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as head coach at Danville High School. She coached nine all-Southeast Iowa Super Conference (SEISC) players during her first year with the Bears. From 2009 to 2011, Determan was the head varsity, head freshman and assistant junior varsity coach at Okoboji High School. She led Okoboji to the Class 2A state tournament in 2009.
A native of Terril, Determan graduated from Graettinger-Terril High School in 2007. She was a five-year varsity starter and 100-game winner during her prep softball career with the Knights. Determan was a four-time Class 1A all-state selection, earning first-team honors during her junior and senior seasons. In addition to excelling on the softball diamond, she was also a member of the 2007 state basketball championship team.
Following high school, Determan continued her softball career and education at Northwestern College. During the 2008 season, she was a first-team all-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) selection and was named the GPAC Pitcher of the Year. Determan set a single-season strikeout record for the Red Raiders, turning in a 21-11 record and a 1.98 ERA.
Transferring to Wartburg College in 2008, Determan garnered first-team all-Midwest Region and second-team all-Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) honors. She went 19-2 inside the pitcher’s circle and ended the season with a 1.02 ERA while sporting a .315 batting average.
Determan concluded the final two years of her softball career at Luther College, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology in 2011. She helped the Norse to a combined 45-6 record while winning back-to-back IIAC Tournament and Great Lakes Regional Tournament titles in 2010 and 2011. Following a fifth-place finish in the 2010 NCAA Division III national tournament, Luther won the 2011 IIAC regular-season title and placed seventh in the national tournament. Determan capped her senior season with second-team All-American honors, setting school records for wins and strikeouts in a season as she posted a 25-4 record, a 1.15 ERA, struck out 230 batters and held opposing hitters to a .187 batting average.
In March 2015, Determan earned a master’s degree in sport psychology from Capella University.
Determan said she sets goals with her team to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding how they will define a successful season. Last season Waldorf finished with a 15-26 record, playing its final year in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC). The Warriors enter a new conference landscape, looking to contend during their first season in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) in 2016.
“I am excited to start in the new conference and to see how well we can compete,” Determan said. “I feel this is a conference in which we can succeed. I hope the girls are excited about starting a new year and really showing the conference what Waldorf softball is about.”
Waldorf graduated five seniors from last year’s team. The Warriors head into the 2016 campaign with several key returners, complemented by a strong recruiting class who aim to set the tone during Determan’s first season.
“There are some talented players returning who were strong contributors last season, which is a great foundation,” Determan said. “There are also some incoming freshmen and transfers who I can see making a large impact in the lineup immediately. I am excited to get to know the players and to create a family of Warrior softball athletes.”