Coaches Corner

Program Director
Mark Pasqualini

Mark joined the Spikes as a head coach in 2013 and became director of the program in 2019. In the last five seasons, his teams have compiled 250+ wins and won thirteen tournaments as well as finishing in the top three in many others. Mark’s coaching philosophy is to develop a strong fundamental and tactcal skill set with the purpose of helping the team maximize every scoring opportunity.

In 2020, Mark joined Aurora Central Catholic High School softball coaching staff as an assistant coach. In March of 2021, Mark became the head varsity coach. After going 7-16 in his first season, Mark led the Chargers to an improved 18-7, 2nd place finish in the Metro Suburban Conference. The 2022 team had an All-State selection, three all-area selections and five all-conference picks.

Mark was a scholarship athlete at the University of Northern Iowa. He was a four-year starter in the outfield and team captain as a senior. He completed his baseball career as the school’s all-time leader in runs scored and games played.

Upon completion of college, Mark immediately began coaching (travel baseball) as well as simultaneously starting up several other youth sports programs. In 1998, Mark developed the Burr Ridge Fall Baseball League which is one of the region’s longest running programs and averages 36 teams each fall.

In 2010 Mark started with WAA as a volunteer coach in the T-Ball program and in 2012 he established the WAA Flag Football League and became a member the WAA Board.

Over the years Mark has had the opportunity to work with and learn from many great coaches in the area. “I find I am always learning something new and adapting my style to help each individual as best as I can.”
Since joining Spikes, Mark has been most influenced by Hall of Fame coach, Margie Wright. “The opportunity to learn from a true pioneer of softball and equity for women has improved my coaching ability and my understanding of a coach’s impact on young athletes.”

Director of Player Development
Katie Klen: [email protected]

Klen has a long history with the Spikes, dating back to the program’s beginning. She not only brings an extensive background and knowledge of the sport but is extremely passionate about growing the game and the future development of softball with the athletes’ best interests in mind.

Following her dream of attending the University of Arizona, Klen joined the softball staff at Arizona as their video coordinator 2012-2016. After graduation Klen pursued her master’s degree in Sports Management at Northern Illinois and was the volunteer assistant softball coach, 2016-2018.

“I have a lot of passion for this program and the opportunities it gave me throughout my life and I am excited to give back to the program and hopefully give another young girl the opportunity to dream big and succeed.”

Co-Director (12 and under): Mark Herrick

Co-Director (13 and over): Sam Salerno

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