Letters of Intent
Baseball Canada announces Women’s National Team Pan Am Games Coaching Staff
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA – Baseball Canada has selected the coaching and support staff for the 2015 edition of the Women’s National Team at the Pan American Games in Ajax, Ontario in July.
Long-time manager, André Lachance returns to the coaching staff along with fellow 2014 members Christian Chenard and Samantha Magalas. After a one-year hiatus Jean-Francois Lacroix will return to the squad as Bench Coach, while Sheen Bromley joins the coaching staff as an assistant coach. Penny Fitzsimmons and Raymonde Fortin round out the group in their familiar roles as business manager and athletic therapist, respectively.
“Our coaching staff is really looking forward to the team selection process and the unique opportunity of representing Canada on home soil during the Pan Am Games,” said Lachance.
From May 10-17 in Toronto, the coaching staff will have the opportunity to evaluate 30 players during the team’s final selection camp. From there, 18 players will be selected to represent Canada at the Pan Am Games where women’s baseball will be part of the sport program for the first time ever.
“The Pan Am Games will provide our sport with the opportunity to show what a tremendous product female baseball is,” added Lachance. “Our entire group is really looking forward to the opportunity to play in a such a high profile event.”
André Lachance – The only manager the Women’s National Team has ever known, Lachance has managed the Canadian entry in all six IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cups earning four medals (one silver, three bronze). The Québec City, Qué. native is full-time staff member with Baseball Canada as well as a part-time professor at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa and was honored in 2008 with a Professor of the Year award. A former scout with the New York Yankees, he also served the IBAF as a technical commissioner at the 2007 Asian Cup (Taiwan), Pan-American Games (Brazil), 2006 America’s Olympic qualifier (Cuba), 2005 World Cup (Netherlands) and has been a coach at the 2005 World Children Baseball Fair in Japan.
Jean-Francois Lacroix – Another member of the original coaching staff from 2004, Lacroix returns to the staff as bench coach after serving as the team’s pitching coach from 2004-2012. The former right-hander pitched his junior ball in Montreal and also played in France. Lacroix successfully battled leukemia in the early 90’s that put an end to his playing career. The native of Montreal, Que. is a full time high school physical education teacher.
Christian Chénard – Chenard is returning the Women’s National Team staff after making his debut as pitching coach for the 2014 IBAF Women’s World Cup in Japan where Canada finished fourth. A pitcher in his playing days, the Lévis, Qué. native played at Briarcliff College in New York from 1998 to 2000 before joining the Northern League’s Québec Capitales from 2000 to 2002. He got his start in coaching in Rouen, France as a player/coach in 2003 before joining the Programme Sport-Études Cardinal-Roy Pointe-Lévy in 2006.
Samantha Magalas – A graduate of the Women’s National Team program having spent 2004-2009 with the club where she participated in three World Cups (2004, 2006, and 2008) and earned a tournament all-star award in 2004. The Burlington, Ont. native was a guest coach with the Women’s National Team in 2011 and has coached in the last two IBAF Women’s World Cups (2012, 2014). She currently works as a Sport Development Officer for Ontario University Athletics and also is an instructor for Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy.
Sheen Bromley – The newest member of the Women’s National Team coaching staff, Bromley will make is debut with the program as an assistant coach at the Pan Am Games. The Edmonton native recently guided the Alberta Senior Women’s Team to their first-ever gold at the Baseball Canada Senior Women Invitational in 2014, a program he previously worked with in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Bromley was the Lead Instructor with the St. Francis Xavier High Academy from 2005-2014 before moving to his current role as technical and development coordinator with Baseball Alberta in 2014. He also was an coach with the Edmonton Cracker Cats independent club in 2007.
Penny Fitzsimmons – Another day one member of the Women’s National Team staff, Fitzsimmons has attended all six IBAF Women’s World Cup events in her role as business manager. A retired teacher and a proud mother of three children, the Saskatoon, Sask. native is a Toronto Blue Jays fan and lists George Bell and Joe Carter as her all-time favorite Blue Jays. Her husband Allan has been involved with Saskatchewan Baseball and Baseball Canada as a volunteer for several years, and her nephew, Brooks Laich, is a member of the Washington Capitals.
Raymonde Fortin – Fortin is a physiotherapist in chief and co-owner of Action Sport Physio Clinic in Montreal, her hometown. Fortin owns the distinction of having the highest level of specialization in sports physiotherapy in Canada as well as manual therapy. In addition to her practice, she has an impressive international working resume having attended the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, 1999 World University Games in Spain, 1998 Olympics in Nagano and 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. This will be her eighth stint as athletic therapist for the Women’s National Team.