Hillsdale College is pleased to introduce Kyle Gross as its new head softball coach. Gross takes the place of Joe Abraham, who was hired by Division I University of Toledo last month.
Gross comes to Hillsdale after serving as an assistant coach at two different Division I institutions in recent years: Presbyterian College and Kent State University. He served as the interim head coach at the University of Toledo for the 2013-14 school year.
“I would like to thank Mr. Don Brubacher, Rich Pewe and the hiring committee for the opportunity to coach at Hillsdale College,” Gross said. “There is a culture excellence and virtue at Hillsdale College and within the softball program I am honored and excited to become a part of. I recognize the privilege and responsibility in leading such a tremendous program and I cannot wait to get started.”
In his year as interim coach at Toledo, Gross made his mark on the Rockets’ program, guiding it to its best record in eight seasons while ending long winless droughts against programs like Central Michigan and Ball State. That 2014 Toledo team was also the first to post a winning record at home since 1997.
His coaching journey has also included stops at Walsh University and Heath City High Schools in Ohio.
In addition to his coaching positions, Gross has extensive experience at softball camps and clinics, highlighted by six years spent as former U.S. Olympian Crystl Busto’s hitting instructor at camps she hosted. He worked closely with Busto to develop strong hitting mechanics in camp and clinic participants. He’s also worked as a softball official at the high school and Division I college levels.
“Coach Gross brings a wealth of experience in softball and leadership training to Hillsdale College and the athletic department,” said Don Brubacher, Director of Athletics. “We are confident he will contribute to the mission of the college and provide excellent management and coaching for the softball team.”
Gross coached the Cincy Doom Gold 18U ASA Gold and Heath Crush travel softball teams for a total of six years, building strong programs in a highly competitive geographic area of the Midwest region.
Prior to entering the coaching profession, Gross was a police officer in the city of Newark, Ohio for 15 years. He received commendations for his service record and was a 10-year member of a tactical team.
In 2018, Hillsdale went 25-16, winning the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament championship in its first year as a member of the league. The Chargers defeated #1 seed Grand Valley State in the first round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional in its second all-time appearance in the postseason tournament.
The Hillsdale College softball coaching staff for the 2019 season is complete with the addition of assistant coach Danielle L’Argent.
A terrific infielder at Chadron State in Nebraska during her college playing days, L’Argent comes to Hillsdale with several successful seasons as an assistant softball coach in the western part of the country.
Chargers head coach Kyle Gross said he was impressed with L’Argent’s energy and expertise, and is excited for her to bring that to a team that enters the 2019 as defending G-MAC Tournament champions.
“Danielle’s experience and enthusiasm will make an immediate, positive impact on the program,” Gross said. “I am excited to have her as our new assistant and look forward to having that experience in the dugout.”
Her most recent stop was at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, where she coached hitters and outfielders in the 2017-18 school year. Three of her players were named All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference and 10 made the conference’s all-academic team.
She was the interim head coach at Concordia University-Portland in Oregon from September 2016 to January 2017, and spent two total seasons there as an assistant coach.
L’Argent graduated from Chadron State in 2013, majoring in Sports and Recreation Management with a concentration in exercise science. She would then earn her master’s in Physical Education and Health from Concordia-St. Paul in 2017.