Stanford Softball Head Coach Rachel Hanson Steps Down

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In a surprising coaching change that just happened this afternoon, FloSoftball has confirmed that Rachel Hanson has stepped down as the Stanford softball head coach.

Hanson called FloSoftball's Brentt Eads just minutes ago to explain that she is accepting a positon as Executive Director at the Baseball and Softball Education Foundation (BASE) based in St. Louis, Missouri, with ties to the St. Louis Cardinals MLB team.

"This is a great opportunity," she told FloSoftball today, "to be able to work with young people and have an impact on their lives. I will miss coaching, but it's always been a dream of mine to work and influence young athletes. We will work primarily with baseball and softball players first and then hope to expand into different sports."

Hanson, who coached at Dartmouth before taking the Cardinal head position, has been considered one of the fast-rising coaches in the college ranks, bringing in increasingly impressive recruiting classes while helping Stanford lead the Pac-12 the last three years in All-Academic honors.

Dorian Shaw, one of the previous assistants on the staff, and Kacee Cox, a volunteer assistant coach, will reportedly stay on to help in the transition as the Stanford athletic department begins a nationwide search to hire a new head coach. The pair will handle recruiting for the summer and will evaluate prospects at top events such as PGF Nationals.

The departing coach says she'll relocate to St. Louis around August 1 and has been impressed with the class and support of the Cardinal athletic administration.

"They were surprised when I first told them, naturally," Hanson said, "but they've been nothing but supportive and are happy for me in my new role. It's been an amicable move on both sides and I couldn't be more appreciate of how they've handled it."

As the first Executive Director of BASE, Hanson says the non-profit's emphasis will be on building sports character and education in young athletes. The organization will focus on creating the curriculum and tools for players, parents and coaches to improve and increase leadership, teamwork, respect and positive play on the competitive field.

"I loved my time at Stanford," Hanson added, "and now look forward to the challenge of building a national program to positively impact the lives on and off the field of potentially millions of young athletes. I feel this is something that is greatly needed in youth sports and am humbled to be asked to helped lead this innovative program."

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