Shane Winkler Tabbed GW Softball Head Coach

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

WASHINGTON – Shane Winkler has been named head softball coach at George Washington, Director of Athletics and Recreation Tanya Vogel announced Thursday.

Winkler has spent the past decade leading Charleston Southern, building the Buccaneers into a Big South contender. He totaled a program-record 261 wins with the Buccaneers and guided them to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 2014. He also has experience in the pro game as a former head coach and assistant in the National Pro Fastpitch league.

"I am excited to welcome Shane to the GW Family," Vogel said. "His plan to build a program based on discipline and respect fits in extraordinarily well with our values. 

"His experience at Charleston Southern is marked by his commitment to student-athlete welfare and the development of leaders on and off the field, while his vision for excellence is in line with ours as we will immediately compete for Atlantic 10 Championships and make a move on the national level."

A former Division I college and professional baseball player, Winkler made his mark at Charleston Southern with three 30-win seasons and two Big South Championship final appearances highlighted by their breakthrough victory in 2014.

The Buccaneers, who hadn't been to a Big South final in two decades prior to his arrival, claimed the conference title that year with a win over top-seeded Coastal Carolina before advancing to the Knoxville NCAA Regional. They ranked in the top 10 in the nation in home runs in 2017 and this past season, they were one of just two clubs in the country, along with national champion Florida State, to rank in the top 30 in both home runs and steals.

Winkler takes over a GW squad that won a program-record 33 games and advanced to the Atlantic 10 Championship last spring.

"I am proud and honored to be the next head softball coach at George Washington," Winkler said. "I would like to thank Tanya Vogel and Chandra Bierwirth for this incredible opportunity to lead the Colonial softball program.

"It's obvious that GW provides an outstanding student-athlete experience, and I'm looking forward to meeting the student-athletes and building a championship culture here. The future is extremely bright for GW softball, and I'm ready to get to work."

Winkler's Charleston Southern teams produced 35 All-Big South honorees, including five in the 2018 season. In addition, the Buccaneers were honored with their first ever NFCA All-Region pick last spring.

During Winkler's run, Charleston Southern also produced the program's first Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and 10 All-Academic selections. It also has had a recipient of the Christenberry Award for top academic student-athletes in the conference each of the past two seasons.
"I would also like to thank Hank Small, Jeff Barber and all the players that played for me at Charleston Southern for the opportunity to lead the softball program there for ten years," Winkler said. "I believe in investing in student-athletes and developing relationships, and I'm proud of all we accomplished at CSU and look forward to watching the great success the current and future players will have there."
Winkler has also been active with National Pro Fastpitch, including a summer season as the head coach of the Chicago Bandits in 2014. He worked with numerous Olympians and NCAA champions, including Jennie Finch, in his work on the pro circuit, which has also included stints as an assistant with the Bandits (2009) and the Akron Racers (2007).
Prior to his tenure at Charleston Southern, Winkler served three seasons as an assistant coach at Marshall where he was responsible for the outfielders and the offense. The Thundering Herd broke the program home run record twice on his watch and consistently ranked among the top offenses in Conference USA led by a four-time All-American catcher.
 
Winkler's first collegiate job came as co-head coach at Danville Area Community College in Illinois for the 2005 season in which the Jaguars produced their first winning campaign in 12 years. He got his start coaching softball while in college working with a summer program in his hometown of Kentland, Indiana.

On the baseball field, Winkler was an outfielder who played collegiately at Illinois Central College, Purdue and Butler. He earned his associate's degree in general education from Illinois Central in 2002 before earning a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies from Butler in 2004.
Winkler moved on to play professionally with the Florence Freedom (2004) and Washington Wild Things (2006) of the Frontier League and the Amarillo Dillas (2006) of the United Baseball League.

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