RINDGE, N.H. (July 17, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University Director of Athletics Rachel Burleson has announced Andrew Klaus has been named the 12th head coach in the Division II era (since 1989) of the University’s softball program. Klaus will replace Hannah Griffin, who has resigned her position effective Aug. 3.
“I am excited and honored to be named the head softball coach at Franklin Pierce University,” said Klaus. “I would like to thank Ms. Burleson, Dr. Mooney and the entire Franklin Pierce administration for this incredible opportunity.”
Rindge will be the first collegiate head coaching stop for Klaus, who joins the Ravens with six years of NCAA coaching experience, including four at the Division II level. Most recently, Klaus was an assistant at the Division I level, as he spent the 2016 and 2017 campaigns at Norfolk State University, where he oversaw hitting and infield play. While in the Hampton Roads area, Klaus oversaw an improvement in the Spartans offensive output of over a run per game. He will look to use his experience to bring about similar improvements in Rindge.
“The tradition of Franklin Pierce matches my personal goals and ambitions to help student-athletes grow through the sport of softball and the pursuit of greatness throughout their lives,” continued Klaus. “I am ready to lead this program.”
Prior to his time at Norfolk State, Klaus spent a total of four years as an assistant coach at three different Division II institutions, overseeing hitting and the outfield at all three. He spent the 2015 season at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where the Flames led the league in batting average. In 2013 and 2014, he was a graduate assistant at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, and guided the Tigers to a pair of conference batting titles as well. Klaus began his collegiate coaching career in the 2012 season as a student assistant at his alma mater of Oklahoma Panhandle State University, in Goodwell, Oklahoma.
“I am excited for coach Klaus to get here and begin working with our softball program,” said Burleson. “His energy and passion for the game are unmistakable, and I look forward to watching the growth of our program under his watch.”
A 2011 graduate of Oklahoma Panhandle State University with a degree in education, Klaus was a four-year letterwinner in baseball for the Aggies, including a pair of All-Conference selections. He received his master’s in sports administration from East Central University in 2014.
Klaus will begin at Franklin Pierce on Aug. 1. He will be looking to continue to build a program which has begun to take steps forward under the watch of Griffin, who had the following to say about her departure:
“I truly enjoyed my time at Franklin Pierce, and I met and worked with some pretty awesome people. The game of softball was my reason for being here; however, it was about much more than a game when I think about my two years here. This place became my home away from home and the people I work with became family. I am going to miss this place.”
Griffin leaves after two years at the helm of the Ravens, who marked her first NCAA stop as a head coach, after three seasons at the NAIA level. After enduring a one-win campaign during her debut season, Griffin skippered the team to 11 victories in 2018. The 10-win jump matched the biggest single-season improvement in program history.
“It has been a pleasure to work with coach Griffin, and we wish her nothing but the best of luck moving forward,” said Burleson. “Hannah never shied away from doing the hard work necessary to build a program, and she undoubtedly leaves our softball team in a better place than it was when she was hired.”
Griffin’s final season in Rindge showcased at least one potential bright light in the program’s future. Cyrena Zemaitis pitched her way to All-Northeast-10 Conference Third Team and All-Rookie Team honors in her freshman campaign, as she put together a 1.90 ERA and 138 strikeouts over 114.1 innings.
“The past two years, our goal was to create a foundation, something we can build on, and we did just that,” added Griffin. “These girls are ready to keep building. This past season was a huge improvement from the previous season, and it’s only going to get even better. I am excited to see what these girls can do next year.”
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics’ official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce softball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics’ online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).