Aug. 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former Notre Dame softball standouts and current assistant coaches Kris Ganeff and Lizzy Lemire have each been promoted as associate coaches, it was announced recently by head coach Deanna Gumpf. John Whitty, who served as the program’s student manager for the 2010 season, also has been added to the staff while filling a newly-created operations position.
“This is a vote of confidence and support and shows how much I value their strengths in their respective areas of responsibility,” Gumpf said. “We’ve had such great success as a program these past few years and Kris and Lizzy played a huge role in every facet along the way. They’re both very capable of running a Division I program, including Notre Dame.
“I am very confident that they’re more than deserving of this title due to their dedication and commitment to making Notre Dame a national contender. Both Kris and Lizzy bring different philosophies, skills and talent to this staff. We all complement each other in such a great fashion to help make the student-athlete experience at Notre Dame on and off the field the best in the country.”
Regarded as the best all-around catcher in Irish history, Ganeff is now in her 12th year of work with the program. Ganeff spearheads the recruiting efforts for the Irish, which annually attracts the top players from across the nation. In addition to being the program’s recruiting coordinator, she also runs and directs Notre Dame’s camps and clinics.
A key member of the 2002, 2004 and 2011 BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year, Ganeff works closely with the Irish infielders and catchers.
“Kris has been with this program both as a player and a coach while serving as my right hand with all decision making,” Gumpf said. “Her hard work and efforts throughout the years have not gone unnoticed by countless others throughout this profession.”
A former member of the U.S. National Softball Team and 2001 BIG EAST Player of the Year, Lemire returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach for the Irish softball team in the fall of 2005. Lemire works closely with the Irish outfield corps and is also the staff’s polished hitting coach. She has helped Notre Dame advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of her seven seasons as part of the coaching staff, including BIG EAST Conference tournament titles in 2006 and 2009.
“Lizzy is a tireless worker and one of the best young coaches in the game,” Gumpf said. “No one epitomizes what Notre Dame is all about more than Lizzy.”
Whitty will join the Irish coaching staff and players, who last season advanced to their 14th consecutive NCAA Championship and finished the spring season with a 40-16 record, after being the manager of the Joyce Athletics Grants-in-Aid Program for the past two years. In that role, Whitty was responsible for all aspects of stewardship and coordination of Notre Dame’s elite athletic benefaction society.
A 2010 Notre Dame graduate, Whitty spent three years in the student manager organization serving as the senior softball manager in 2010 and a football student manager in 2009.
“I am thrilled that we were able to add this operations position to our program and no one would be better suited for this role than John,” Gumpf said. “John understands our goals, direction and commitment. He’ll be entrusted with helping us continue to grow as a staff and take our program to the next level. John will take care of our operational needs and community outreach programs while the coaching staff can focus on coaching and competing for a national title.”