Rock Valley College
Rockford, Illinois

Meet the Coaches

Head Coach: Darin Monroe
Darin Monroe

Darin Monroe enters his third season as the head coach of the Golden Eagles softball program. In 2013, Monroe led the Golden Eagles to just their second NJCAA national tournament appearance, finishing sixth at the NJCAA DIII national tournament in Rochester, MN. RVC also won the N4C championship and had the N4C MVP in Vivi Marquez. Following the 2013 season, Monroe was recognized as Region IV Coach of the Year, and N4C Coach of the Year.

2013 was an offensive breakthrough for the Golden Eagles. As a team, RVC ranked in the top four nationally in runs scored, hits, triples, home runs, and RBI's. Kara Ekx led the country in home runs, while Vivi Marquez finished fourth in that category. The two were also second and third, respectively, in RBI's.

In Monroe's first two seasons, RVC has compiled an overall record of 62-30 with seven players being named to the all-Region IV team, twelve to the all-N4C team, and two to the NJCAA All-American team (Vivi Marquez and Kara Ekx).

Monroe grew up in Ossian, Iowa, where he was a four-sport athlete in cross-country, wrestling, track, and baseball at South Winneshiek High School in Calmar, Iowa. He was a state participant in track and cross country, and a two-time district qualifier in wrestling. In baseball, he was an all-conference catcher, and was named his team's Most Valuable Defensive Player in his junior and senior seasons.

Monroe went on to play college baseball for Luther College, a NCAA Division III College in Decorah, Iowa. While at Luther, he also became heavily involved in coaching as he was an assistant varsity baseball and softball coach, assistant varsity wrestling coach, and junior high football coach at his alma mater.

After college, Monroe accepted a position to become an assistant softball coach at Southwestern Community College, a Division II junior college in Creston, Iowa. While at Southwestern, he helped his team set a school record for wins in a season (24) and helped recruit the team's largest recruiting class in school history (18), which was headlined by five all-state players.

While at Southwestern, Monroe was also the head softball coach at Lamoni High School. In one season, his team saw an eight win improvement from the previous season. At Lamoni, he coached three all-state, three all-district, and six all-conference players in just one season at the helm. He also put on the school's first ever "Coaches vs. Cancer" event, which helped raise money for cancer research.

Monroe is currently working on his Master's degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Sports Management through Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. He is also a member of the National Fast-pitch Coaches Association.

"2013 was a breakout year for our program. Winning the N4C, Region IV tournament and placing sixth in the country is a big step for our program. We established an attitude and a culture of what it means to play for Rock Valley College. We will look to build upon the success we had last year and continue to bring this program toward national contention."

E-mail Coach Monroe

 

Assistant Coach: Alyssa Novak (slappers/outfielders)

Alyssa NovakAlyssa is in her first season as an assistant coach for the RVC softball team. She is graduating from Rockford College in December with a degree in Sports Management. She also served as team captain for the Rockford College softball team in 2010-2011 and started her college career by playing two seasons at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Illinois. Alyssa was also a three year varsity starter at Lasalle-Peru Township High School where she was a two-time all-conference selection. Her previous coaching experience includes a 2010 stint with the Ottawa Girls Fast-Pitch Association.


 

Assistant Coach: Chad Kulpa (infielders/catchers)

Chad KulpaChad begins his first season as an assistant coach for RVC Softball and will work primarily with catchers and infielders. Chad got his first taste of coaching at Northern Illinois University as a student assistant in 2007. After graduation from NIU in 2009, he moved on to South Dakota State University where he helped lead them to their first Summit League Tournament. Chad is also an accomplished men's fast-pitch player. His biggest accomplishment is leading his team to the 2008 ISC 23U world title while being named All-World and Leading Hitter. He has been named to numerous NAFA All-World and Illinois State teams. Chad graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2009 with a Bachelor's in Communications. He is also a Level 2 ASA ACE certified coach. Chad resides in Machesney Park with his wife, Caysie.

Assistant Coach: Katie Dixon (pitching coach)

Katie DixonKatie is entering her first season as pitching coach for the RVC Softball team. She was born and raised in Rockford, IL, and graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2008 with a B.B.A. in Marketing. Katie was also a scholarship athlete on the softball team at Division I Loyola throughout her college career. During her time at Loyola, Katie was nominated for the Newcomer of the Year Award in her freshman year and received all-academic honors her junior and senior years. She graduated from Guilford High School in 2004 and was named NIC-9 honorable mention her junior year and NIC-9 all-conference in her senior year.  Kate is currently studying to become a physical therapist. 

Manager: Jon Akins

Jon Akins