BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Bowling Green State University head softball coach Shannon Salsburg finalized her 2012-13 coaching staff Thursday, announcing the hiring of Chelsea Cantillo and the return of Monica Wright.
Cantillo enters her first season on the Falcons' coaching staff, bringing experience as a player, coach and academic advisor to the Orange and Brown. Cantillo most recently finished working as an assistant in the academic and compliance offices at Weber State, a position held since August of 2011.
"Throughout the hiring process Chelsea stood out thanks to her enthusiasm and love of the game, while demonstrating a strong belief in the student-athlete concept," said Salsburg. "I am pleased to add Chelsea to our softball family."
Prior to Weber State, Cantillo was an assistant coach at Utah State University under head coach Carissa Kalaba. As an Aggie, Cantillo worked primarily with the infield, guiding the team to 33 home runs and 215 runs scored in 2011.
Cantillo played at the University of Georgia from 2005-07, guiding the Bulldogs to their third Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title and an NCAA Regional berth in 2006. She finished the season with a .354 batting average with 32 RBI and earned SEC All-Freshman honors.
In 2007, Georgia once again advanced to the NCAA Regionals, falling one game shy of making the NCAA Super Regionals. Cantillo worked as a student coach and a student strength and conditioning advisor her final two seasons as a Bulldog.
"Chelsea has coached and played at an elite level," said Salsburg. "She understands what it takes to achieve great heights, and her focus on the mental side of hitting will be a tremendous asset for our program."
Cantillo graduated in 2009 with a degree in sociology, and is currently working toward her master's degree in education from Utah State.
Monica Wright enters her second season as an assistant coach for the Orange and Brown, looking to build upon the success of the team's 2012 campaign. Wright, who works primarily with the Falcon pitchers, guided the staff to one of the team's most successful pitching outputs in team history.
"Monica is such a vital part of our softball family," said Salsburg. "Her passion for the game, university and our student-athletes made a huge difference for us last year. She did an outstanding job leading our pitching staff to new heights and I look forward to seeing their continued growth under her leadership."
Under Wright's guidance, freshman Jamie Kertes was named the Mid-American Conference Freshman Of The Year, earned a spot on the conference All-First Team and the conference All-Freshmen Team. Wright also helped pitcher Paris Imholz earn Mid-American Conference All-Freshmen Team honors. Kertes and Imholz both earned 17 wins in 2012, marking the first time in the history of the program that two pitchers recorded more than 15 wins in the same season.
"Monica will have an expanded role this season, which I believe will benefit the program immensely," said Salsburg. "I am excited to see the impact Monica will continue to have on our players both on and off the field."
Wright joins the Falcons' coaching staff after a brief stint as an assistant pitching coach under Patti Raduenz at Elon University. While at Elon, Wright coached the Phoenix to a 30-24 record.
A three-year letterwinner for the Indiana University Hoosiers from 2007-10, Wright made 124 career appearances in the circle during her career, tallying 30 victories in 559.2 innings pitched to go along with 348 strikeouts and a 4.20 ERA.
During her career, Wright notched 48 complete games and set season records in innings pitched, appearances and games started. As a senior, Wright was named to the Big Ten Conference All-Academic Team, while also earning the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Wright graduated from IU in the spring of 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology.
As a freshman, Wright played at Northern Iowa where she led the Panthers in strikeouts with 91. Wright led the Panthers with a team-best seven wins and 4.41 ERA, logging a staff-high 169.2 innings pitched. Wright registered one shutout as a true freshman, blanking IUPUI, 2-0, on March 11, 2006, allowing just five hits.
A native of Morrison, Ill., Wright also spent time as a pitching instructor at Elite Sports Performance in Oswego, Ill., where she educated pitchers on proper pitching mechanics and fundamentals, as well as leading conditioning and agility drills.