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The University of Calgary Fastball Coaching Staff 2019


HEAD COACH: Neal Harlos

Neal was selected to be the new Head Coach of the Dinos in October 2015. He became the 6th Head Coach of the Dinos Fastball program, and the 2020 season will be his 6th year with the team. Neal brings a wealth of coaching experience to the program, and in 2016 and 2018 he was selected the WCSA  Coach of the Year.He has lead the team to two medals at the Canadian Collegiate National Championships, Silver and Bronze in 2019 and 2018 respectively.

 Ten years ago, he started a club team in Calgary, the Xtreme, that he coached in the spring and summer until this past year, stepping away to focus on the Dinos program. He has been head coach of teams that competed at both A & B Provincial Championships, Western Canadian Championships, National Championships, Alberta Summer Games, and numerous tournaments in the United States and across Canada.  Neal is a certified NCCP level 2 coach and is working towards his level 3. He is committed to helping his players, and is always trying to adapt and improve his coaching methods to help individuals who have the desire to elevate their game.

Off the ball field he likes to spend his time at the gym, disc golfing, and cycling where he is proud to be a 5 year participant in the Alberta Ride to Conquer cancer that raises money for cancer research in Alberta.


Assistant Coach: Greg Tarr

Greg joined the Dinos for the 2019 season. He has been involved as both as a fastball player and as a coach in Calgary for many years, and brings valuable experiance to the team.

In 2011, Greg was a founding member of the Calgary Adrenaline Fastball Association, and served as President for five years. During his time with the Adrenaline he was Head Coach at numerous A Provincials, consistently medaling at those championships. He also had sucess in coaching teams in the CWFA, GPLS, At Canada Cup, Western Canadian Championships, and National Championships. He is a certified Level 2 NCCP Coach and is always looking to improve his coaching skill set. Greg works hard and is dedicated to the sport and his players; and he expects the same out of them.

Off the field Greg enjoys family time, golfing, and playing hockey.


Pitching Coach: Emily Dendstent

Emily joined the coaching staff in November 2017 as the team's pitching coach. She brings extensive playing experience to the program which includes: Canadian Junior A National Champion in 2007; 4 year letter-winner with the University of Pennsylvania Softball team; participation at the Canadian National Championships in 2001 and 2003 through 2011,; and Canada Summer Games. Emily received several team and conference awards / recognitions during her softball career at the University of Pennsylvania, including 1st Team All-Ivy ( Pitcher ) in 2007 while leading the softball team to the inaugural Ivy League conference finals. Emily also received several awards / recognitions while playing club ball for various Calgary fastball teams, including top pitcher at the 2003 National Championship. Emily has coached pitchers at all levels of the game. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies and World History. Emily then completed a Law degree in 2014 at the University of Saskatchewan, and currently works as a lawyer in Calgary.



Hitting / Catching Coach: Natalie Vortman

Natalie is a native of Canton, Ohio whose early days of fastpitch softball included playing
elite-level travel softball in the summers, being the four-year starting catcher for her high school
softball team, and in 2001 was inducted into the Stark County Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame.
She earned an athletic scholarship to play softball at The Ohio State University where she was
the starting catcher, Team Captain, Buckeye Power Club Award winner for leadership in
strength and conditioning, OSU Scholar-Athlete, Academic All BigTen Award recipient, and an
Academic All-American Nominee. Natalie graduated from OSU in 2006 with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Human Ecology. In 2007, Natalie was named the Head Softball Coach at
Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio where she led the team to the school’s
first appearance in the Division III National Tournament and was named Region G Coach of the
Year. Natalie has continued coaching teams and individuals since her playing days and has
been proud to be a part of several elite softball clubs here in Calgary. She is excited to join the
coaching staff of the Dinos and looks forward to working primarily with catchers and hitters.



Associate Coach: Randy Plishka

After a six season stint as Head Coach, Randy stepped down, passing the reins to Neal Harlos. Randy will concentrate his attention on recruitment and management for the team. Randy is a native Calgarian, and graduated from the University of Calgary in 1982. Highlights of his 6 season stint as Head Coach include the  2011 season which saw the team winning the Silver Medal at the CCSA Nationals, and in 2014 with the Dinos capturing the WCSA Championship for the first time since 2004. His coaching record shows a conference record of .682           ( 64 wins - 29 losses - 3 ties ), and an career record  ( conference, non conference, playoff and Nationals ) of .574 ( 107 wins - 79 losses, and 4 ties ). When he’s not found on the ball diamond Randy can be found on a hiking trail in the mountains during the summer, or at a curling rink during the winter months.


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