New softball coach experience provides a strong tradition

Michael Pecha

Michael Pecha

South Dakota State welcomes Shane Bouman as the new head fastpitch softball coach.

Shelly Bayer, last years head softball coach, resigned last summer and Bouman pursued the role on Sept. 10.

“Softball had been good to me,” new SDSU head softball coach Shane Bouman said. Now, SDSU hopes that Bouman will be good for the softball program.

If his past softball experience is any indication, Bouman might just turn the Jackrabbits into a team to be reckoned with.

Bouman was raised in Ruthton, Minn. in an athletic family. Bouman’s brother, Troy, played basketball for SDSU, and his brother, Todd, is a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.

Sports were an important part of his life from the beginning. Bouman said he remembers baby pictures of him holding a football or wearing a baseball cap.

Bouman played “just about everything” in high school, but softball was the sport in which he would have the most success.

Bouman began playing softball for American Softball Association teams that his father coached. In 1986, the ASA national championships were held in Sioux Falls. Bouman and his team, the Ruthton Rookies won the championship in the 18 and under age bracket.

The Rookies claimed the national title again in ’88 and ’90. Bouman earned ASA All-American four times.

The 60 to 80 games kept him busy during the summer, but during the school year, Bouman played a different sport. He was the quarterback for SDSU’s football team, and was named NCC All-Conference quarterback twice.

After college, Bouman began playing at the world-class level in the International Softball Congress. He played for teams from Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Mankato and the Twin Cities. While in the ISC, Bouman got to travel all over the world to play softball. He played in nine world tournaments. His team finished third in 1995.

Bouman has a 532-124 record in 16 years of pitching.

For the past five years, he has volunteered as a coach at Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School in Iowa while working at Gateway.

Bouman’s wife Melanie was a three-time all-conference softball player at Morningside. They have a daughter, Bradee.

It would seem that Bouman eats, sleeps and breathes softball. This could be true. His enthusiasm and experience in the sport just might help a strong softball tradition begin at SDSU.