NEW CANAAN—While the New Canaan softball team will have a new Head Coach next season, it’s really more of a reshuffling.
Danielle Simoneau, who has coached the program since 2010, is stepping down in order to be able to watch her daughter Makenzie—a freshman at Trumbull High—play.
“We are very grateful for all the time and effort Danielle has given to build the softball program at NCHS and in the community,” New Canaan Athletic Director Jay Egan said in an email to parents. “NCHS Softball was a perennially weak program before Danielle came on board. We won an FCIAC Championship under her leadership and the youth softball program is viable option for girls in the spring.”
Joel Geriak will take over in her place. Geriak has been an assistant for seven years to Simoneau.
“It’s going to be easy,” Geriak said of the transition. “Danielle is staying on staff still, so it’s basically still running her program, just on gamedays she won’t be there so she can watch her kid play. This program wont change much, it’s pretty in order as it is so it works out well.”
Simoneau will stay on and attend practice to work with the girls—specifically the pitchers—and Rich Bulan, the New Canaan girls hockey coach, will continue to serve as an assistant.
Keeping the same staff in place in integral for a program that lost seven starters from a season ago.
“That’s not easy to build off of,” Geriak said. “We have a very good pitcher and we’re young, the idea is to build up the youth program and in the next couple years get consistently into the states and then FCIACs and then go from there.”
Geriak’s leadership skills have already been on display, as in the winter, Geriak serves as the boys basketball coach at Wilton.
“I do work at New Canaan high school so that helps,” Geriak said of maintain his position with both schools. “Basketball is my first love, that’s why I’m at Wilton, and we’ve done great things over there. if I was doing baseball I think it’d be harder to do two boys sports but boys and girls has worked out well.”