KISSIMMEE, Fl- April 20, 2015– The USSSA Florida Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league have named Travis Wilson and Todd Downes as part of the 2015 coaching staff. Wilson and Downes will serve as assistants to head coach Mike Davenport who was named head coach last month. This staff will look to lead the Pride to the organization’s fourth NPF Championship in just its seventh NPF season.
Wilson in his fourth year at Florida State University where he helped lead the Seminoles to their first Women’s College World Series (WCWS) appearance since 2004. Last year under Wilson’s offensive guidance, the Seminoles set program records in runs scored (400), homeruns (65), extra base hits (168), RBIs (363), and slugging percentage (.493). Wilson also instructs team defense at Florida State. During his tenure at Florida State, the team has a 146-44 overall record.
Prior to Florida State, Wilson enjoyed a successful professional career in baseball and men’s fast pitch. Wilson played professional baseball with the Atlanta Braves organization from 1997-2003 and the Cincinnati Reds organization in 2004. A native of New Zealand, Wilson started playing softball for the New Zealand Black Sox as a 16 year old and was named the New Zealand Softball Player of the Year in his rookie season. He has since become one of the country’s biggest softball ambassadors having won five International Softball Federation First Team All World teams, an ISF World Championships in 1996 and an ISF National Runner-up finish in 2009.
Downes is currently in his third year as an assistant head coach at Georgia State where he works mainly with the hitters. During the 2014 season, Downes helped the Georgia State offense record their best season offensively hitting a team record 59 homeruns and the second-highest team slugging percentage in program history. Prior to Georgia State, Downes spent four seasons at Georgia Tech where he led the team to four NCAA Regional appearances and the program’s first Super Regional. Additionally, he won state championships as the head coach at Walton High School and Kell High School. Downes also coached the East Cobb Bullets 18U team, one of Georgia’s top youth programs, for nine years where he won the 18U ASA Gold National Championship in 2010.
The 2015 Pride coaching staff of Davenport, Wilson and Downes will begin play on June 6th when they take on the Dallas Charge, the NPF’s newest expansion team, in McKinney, TX. The Pride will be looking to capture their fourth NPF regular season and fourth NPF Championship series title in 2015. Despite the retirement of veterans Caitlin Lowe and Danielle Lawrie, the Pride have continued to reload their explosive lineup with the additions of pitchers Hannah Rogers and Andi Williamson and former NPF Most Outstanding Player Megan Wiggins.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!