Pitching Coach
Mike Bosch in the Florida vs. Stanford NCAA Regional Finals on May 21. Photo courtesy of Hannah White.

Florida Softball Begins Search For New Pitching Coach

On Thursday, the Gators softball team parted ways with assistant coach Mike Bosch. Head coach Tim Walton and the Gators will begin the search for a new pitching coach.

Prior Success

In July of 2018, Mike Bosch received the title of assistant coach with a key role involving pitching. In his five years at UF, Bosch developed multiple players who went on to receive the highest accolades pitchers can earn.

Bosch mentored some of Florida’s most well-known and talented pitchers in Kelly Barnhill and Elizabeth Hightower. In Barnhill’s senior season, she received her third NFCA All-American accolade and the program’s fifth SEC Tournament Championship. She was tabbed the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Able to spend more time with Hightower, Bosch helped her become the program’s ninth overall NFCA All-American pitcher in 2021. During that season, the Gators also tied the 2021 single-season record with 12 saves, which saw UF pitcher Katie Chronister finish third nationally in the category and tie the individual single-season mark with six on the year.

Current Struggles

Pitching depth and lack of performance was a key problem in Florida’s troublesome 2023 season.

Through 24 games, Florida had an ERA of 5.06 in the SEC. This was second to last in the conference and one of the worst years Florida has had in the circle. The average ERA for Florida’s pitchers on the year was 3.69. The Gators also went 11-13 in conference games which is another low since Bosch had arrived.

Although Bosch brought success to the program, Walton decided to move in a different direction. 

Moving On

Thursday afternoon, Walton announced that Bosch would not continue as the pitching coach for Florida next season.

In a press release, Walton said, “At the conclusion of the season, Mike and I sat down and discussed the year and his career here as our pitching coach. We decided that moving in a different direction was best for the program.”

Walton had nothing but good things to say about Bosch.

“Mike is the hardest working person I have ever been around,” he said. “His objective teaching style and game planning are at the top of the industry. This was an extremely difficult decision for us to make. Mike is a tremendous man and cares deeply for his athletes and the Gator Softball Program. I wish him, his wife Ellen and his family the absolute best.”

Bosch was grateful for his time with the program and said in the release it was “an amazing professional and personal experience.”

Florida Looks to Continue Past Pitching Dominance

This last season was an exception to Florida’s usual dominant pitching. The Gators have had some of the best pitchers in college softball come through the successful program, producing nine NFCA All-American pitchers who have earned 20 All-American accolades since 1997. Florida looks to find a coach who can help create more title-chasing talent on the mound.

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