Rebellion to name coach Jan. 20

January 7, 2014

The Pennsylvania Rebellion have their man.

They just aren’t ready to reveal him, yet.

Kate Billings, the assistant general manager of the Rebellion, would only say an agreement was reached on the first coach in the history of the National Pro Fastpitch softball team that will play at Consol Energy Park this year.

Billings did say the coach will be introduced at a news conference Monday, Jan. 20 and that it is a male. As for the name and other incidentals, that will have to wait for the news conference.

“We started the search in October,” said Billings. “It took two months to interview the candidates, show them the facility, get the background information.”

Billings said there were three finalists, and the new manager will have no more than two assistant coaches.

“We’re going through that process now,” she said. “Throughout the process, we were looking for people with a winning caliber who can put a winning team on the field. We want to bring someone in who can make Washington one of the top teams in the league.”

The Rebellion is one of four teams competing in the NPF league, inheriting the roster of the New York-New Jersey Comets. Billings said the organization has until the end of February to sign players from the New York-New Jersey roster or they become free agents. Most teams carry a maximum of 20 players.

“We’ll probably be at the max,” said Billings. “We’re talking to all the women on that roster. Some of them are from the eastern part of Pennsylvania but none from Pittsburgh.”

The other three teams in the league are the Akron Racers, the Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Pride. The league will begin play in early June and go through a 44-game schedule. A five-round draft is set for the end of March in Nashville. Two tryouts, one of which will be held in Washington, will be held before the draft. Dates have not been selected yet.

The Rebellion will share a field with the Washington Wild Things and take over the visiting locker room that has been used for baseball. The process is nearly completed to find a new visitors locker room for baseball and softball.

“The visitor’s clubhouse will be the home clubhouse for us on a permanent basis,” Billings said. “It’s going to be recarpeted and repainted.”

Billings said the schedule will mainly consist of single games with a planned baseball-softball doubleheader with the Wild Things. ESPN is expanding the television coverage of the league, and Billings believes as many as a dozen games could be televised, not including the championship series.

She also said the team is exploring options with a broadcast agreement for radio and the web, as well as setting up a video option on the Internet.

“We’re getting ready,” she said. “We think it’s going to be a great season.”

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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