Minuskin begins her 12th year as head coach of the Saint Xavier University softball team. Every coach believes in winning and success, but Minuskin lets her numbers do the talking. Her 11-year record is an impressive 397-194 overall (.672 winning percentage). In the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), she has amassed a remarkable 158-29 record with eight conference titles. In 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2009, she was named CCAC Coach of the Year and garnered NAIA Region VII Coach of the Year honors in 2001, 2002 and 2004. She understands what it takes to win and prepares her teams to be successful.
Every season, Minuskin puts her team on the map, not just in the CCAC or region, but at the national level. In 2009, the Cougars advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in Decatur, Ala., after earning the top seed in the CCAC Tournament and winning the event to capture the automatic bid. SXU started off well in Decatur picking up a 4-0 victory over No. 11 University of Houston-Victoria (Texas) before dropping a heartbreaker, 2-1, to St. Gregory's University (Okla.). Saint Xavier did finish its pool play strong, however, with a 5-1 victory over Savannah College of Art & Design (Ga.).
Minuskin has coached numerous NAIA All-Americans and NAIA Academic All-Americans. In 2006, she had the unique distinction of coaching the NAIA Softball Player of the Year in Colleen Kilduff. Kilduff set a number of school and NAIA records and was also a NAIA All-American First Team selection, Region VII Player of the Year and CCAC Player of the Year for 2006. It was also the first national player of the year recognition earned by any Saint Xavier University student-athlete in any sport. Kilduff was inducted into the SXU Athletics Hall of Fame in May 2009.
Prior to taking the helm at Saint Xavier University, Minuskin had coaching stints at Valparaiso University, National Louis University and Harper College. In addition to her duties as the head softball coach at SXU, Minuskin is also assistant athletics director for the Cougar Athletics Department. She oversees the six varsity women's teams at SXU. The graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds both a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration. The Oak Forest resident also played on the club softball team at Illinois in addition to later coaching it.
Kosinski is also entering her 12th season with the Cougar softball program and serves as the team's pitching coach. Kosinski played at SXU from 1988-92 and still holds school pitching records. She graduated from Saint Xavier University with a degree in accounting.
In 2009, Kosinski's crew posted a 32-19 win-loss record and was ranked atop the CCAC in earned run average (ERA) at 1.87, opposing batters average at .235, runs allowed at 130 and earned runs allowed with 94. SXU also boasted 13 shutouts and 197 strikeouts on the season.
In 2004, the SXU pitching staff compiled a 36-24 record with a 1.57 earned run average and set school-records with 302 strikeouts, the most no-hitters (5) and most perfect games (2). The staff also had an Honorable Mention NAIA All-American, a NAIA Academic All-American, two NAIA All- Region VII team members, a NAIA Region All-Tournament team member, two CCAC All-Tournament Team members and two All-CCAC First Team members.
The former Girls Catholic Athletic Conference standout was inducted into the GCAC Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2002, Kosinski was also named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by AFLAC and Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director. She currently resides in Munster, Ind.
Ekeler joined the Saint Xavier University softball program in 2008 and works with the hitters and catchers. Prior to joining the Cougar coaching staff, Ekeler served on the Nebraska Wesleyan University softball staff in 2007. From 2004-06, he was the head softball coach of the Lincoln Pius X High School Thunderbolts and operated the Nebraska Twin Rivers Viper summer program as well.
During his tenure at Lincoln Pius X High School, Ekeler's teams set 17 offensive school records, garnered eight individual postseason accolades, and sent five players to the collegiate level. The catchers coached by Ekeler received three Nebraska all-state honors. With the Twin Rivers Viper summer program, Ekeler's teams compiled a .685 winning percentage, numerous tournament championships throughout the Midwest, three state titles and three trips to the National Tournament, including a runner-up finish. His Viper players secured 26 postseason honors, including the 2005 Nebraska Super-State Captain.
Ekeler is a former baseball player at Lincoln Pius X High School and the Legion baseball program in that area. He helped coach both these programs from 1998-2001 before switching over to softball. He recently earned his master's degree in administration at Saint Xavier University and lives with his wife, Susan, in Western Springs. The couple has a one-year-old daughter, Charlotte.
|(8) Reinhardt University vs||12:00pm|
|(10) Saint Xavier||CST|
|NAIA National Championship Final Site - May 24-30|