NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University softball team and head coach Mike Shehorn would like to introduce veteran coaches Tom Freeland and Jerry Grasso as new assistant coaches to the program starting this fall.
After longtime assistant Rich Groff stepped down at the end of the 2022 season, Shehorn needed to replenish the bench and found two Delaware coaching veterans to fill the void.
Tom Freeland joins the Wildcats after a seven-year stint as an assistant at the Delaware Military Academy (2016-22). He helped lead the Seahawks to the DIAA State Semifinals in 2017, 2019, and again in 2021. The 2019 Seahawks team, with four First Team All-State honorees and a total of six student-athletes receiving All-State recognition, posted an undefeated 18-0 regular season and finished the year 20-1.
Freeland has also coached in the Delaware Cobras travel organization from 2012-19, finding a home with the 14U, 16U, and 18U age groups. The 2018 18U team posted a record of 30-7 and finished the summer by winning the 18U Eastern Regional Championship in Sterling, Virginia. All 12 members of that team went on to play at the collegiate level: eight with D1, three with D2, and one with D3.
Jerry Grasso comes to Wilmington after being a volunteer coach at Conrad School of Sciences last season but brings 36 years of coaching to the Wildcats' bench. He started his coaching career in 1986, coaching Padua from 1986 to 1994, winning the Catholic League four times and the DIAA State Championship in 1994.
Grasso served as the ASA Junior Olympic Softball Commissioner from 1997-2001. He served as a clinician for Newark Parks & Recreation Coaches, New Castle County Softball Camps and Clinics, Piedmont Softball Recreation Leagues, Northeast Little League in Maryland, Millsboro Little Leagues, and Dover Little Leagues.
Between his beginning at Padua and his year at Conrad, Grasso has coached at the University of Delaware (1994-98), A.I. duPont High School (1999), Goldey-Beacom College (2000-2002 and 2008-10), Mt. Pleasant High School (2003-04), Pennsville Memorial High School in New Jersey (2005-07 and 2016-21), Archmere Academy (2011), Conrad (2012-15 and 2022).
The Wildcats' fall exhibition season is expected to start this weekend but could change due to Hurricane Ian. Shehorn, and his new staff, will lead the Wildcats into the 2023 spring season starting in February.