Ken Eriksen, the longtime U.S. national softball team head coach, will be the Olympic head coach at the 2020 Tokyo Games, softball’s return to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008.
Eriksen, the U.S. head coach since 2011, guided world championship-winning teams in 2016 and 2018, the latter qualifying the Americans for the Tokyo Olympics.
“The players that kept the dream alive for every girl that has played this game deserve all the credit,” Eriksen said in a press release. “There have been so many who’s names will not be on the roster in Tokyo that have helped us maintain a gold-level standard. I will never forget what they did for this program and for the United States.”
A former fastpitch player, Eriksen has also coached the University of South Florida women’s program since 1996 and was an assistant on the last U.S. Olympic title team in 2004.
Eriksen will become the third U.S. Olympic softball head coach, following the late Ralph Raymond (1996 and 2000) and Mike Candrea (2004 and 2008).
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!
MORE: First U.S. Olympic softball coach dies at 94Follow @nbcolympictalk