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Speechless on success

When: Today, 3; Sat., Sun., Noon Where: Villanova Ballpark

With the Bulls embarking on their first road trip of the season, the last thing head coach Ken Eriksen wants to talk about is getting his 500th victory. However, Eriksen is quickly heading toward the milestone that will secure his legacy at USF.

USF kicks off the weekend with a doubleheader against Pittsburgh today and wraps up on Sunday with two games against Syracuse. If the Bulls can sweep both series this weekend, Eriksen will have his 500th victory.

But don’t bring up the subject to him. “I’m just worried about Pittsburgh on Friday,” Eriksen said with a laugh. When asked a second time about 500 wins, Eriksen calmly walked away without an answer.

Despite Eriksen’s aversion to talking about records, assistant coaches Amber Wright and Monica Triner were willing to elaborate on the feat. Wright and Triner both played for Eriksen during their time as players at USF.

Wright is in her ninth season as an assistant coach after playing from 1994-97 as an infielder.

“I think this is a huge milestone and not a lot of coaches get a chance to reach this milestone,” Wright said. “I think he’s one of the best coaches in the nation, no question about it.”

Wright feels that Eriksen deserves this milestone after all his hard work in continuing the success of the softball program. She looks up to Eriksen as a mentor.

“He’s very encouraging, no matter if you are a player or a coach on his staff,” Wright said. “And he’s also very motivated, supportive and a great coach to be able to work for.”

Triner echoed the same sentiments about Eriksen getting 500 wins.

“A lot of players come into the program and enjoy playing for him,” Triner said. “When I came in for my visit, I knew that I wanted to play here and be taught by Ken (Eriksen).”

This season is Triner’s first as an assistant on Eriksen’s staff, but she has been a volunteer coach for three seasons. During that time, Triner has gained more respect for Eriksen from the coaching side than she had as a player.

“He has a sense of the game that I’ve never been around before and he’s very meticulous,” Triner said. “He loves the game, he loves being out on the field and teaching the game. Just like a favorite professor, he teaches his players every step of the game.”

Overall statisticsSeasons at USF 11Career record 496-258-1NCAA Tournament 9Named coach July 1, 1996First win Feb. 16, 1997