CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia softball head coach Joanna Hardin announced the hiring of Jake Sidwell as an assistant coach on Thursday (July 11).
Sidwell will work extensively with Virginia’s offense and guide the development of Cavalier hitters. He comes to Virginia after spending the 2019 season as a volunteer assistant with George Washington baseball under head coach Gregg Ritchie, who is a former MLB hitting coach and the current U18 hitting coach for Team USA. Ritchie spent 15 seasons as a minor league hitting coach and two years as the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With Sidwell on staff in 2019, GW posted a .292 batting average as a team. The mark was the 35th-best average in collegiate baseball last season. Dom D’Alessandro finished the year with a .423 average for the Colonials, the second-best batting average of any player in the country. A Colonial also led the A-10 in RBI, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and runs scored in 2019.
“I’m really excited to have Jake on board,” Hardin said. “His values and passion were evident from the first conversation I had with him. He is a hard-worker with a solid background in identifying tools and qualities we value in recruits. Having played collegiately at Davidson and coached at George Washington, he understands the challenge of competing at a high academic institution. I firmly believe he will help take Virginia softball to the next level.”
Sidwell also helped develop the GW catchers, who posted the second-best caught stealing percentage in the A-10. Along with his on-field duties, Sidwell directed and organized GW baseball camps and clinics.
Prior to joining George Washington, Sidwell was a graduate assistant with VCU baseball. With the Rams, Sidwell managed the bullpen during the games and assisted pitching coach Mike McRae in developing the VCU staff.
He also has experience leading a team, serving as a head coach in the Piedmont Collegiate Baseball League. In the PCBL, Sidwell managed a collegiate summer team, overseeing all aspects of the program both on and off the field.
Sidwell played his collegiate ball at Davidson where he helped the Wildcats to an NCAA super regional in 2017. He was a 39th-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school and became the first drafted player to ever attend Davidson. He was also named a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist in 2017.
Sidwell earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Davidson in 2017 and will complete his master’s in sport leadership at VCU in August.