The American-born and raised Craig Montvidas (who celebrates his birthday on April 30) makes his return as Head Coach of the Dutch National Softball Team in 2009 after he is officially named in that position on December 23, 2008.
In October of 2009, Montvidas becomes the overall Supervisor of the entire National Softbal Team-program of the Dutch Federation and therefore also becomes in charge of the Dutch Junior Team, the Dutch Cadets Team and the Dutch Juveniles Team.|
In the summer of 2009, Montvidas leads the Dutch Softball Team to the European championship-title for the first time in 19 years, by remaining unbeaten in nine games during the EC-tournament in Valencia (Spain).
In 2010, Montvidas guides the Dutch Team to its first Play-Offs in 16 years during the World Championship in Venezuela.
In 2011, Montvidas again is successful when the Dutch Team prolonges the European title during the Championship in Italy.
In 2012, he leads the Dutch Team to sixth place on the world ranking during the World Championship in Canada.
Later in the year, he wins his second Coach of the Year Award for his success with the national squad.
On 2013, Montvidas leads the Orange squad to its third consecutive unbeaten European title.
When Coach Montvidas stepped onto the field in 2009 as Dutch coach, it marked his third affiliation with the national squad.
Montvidas is a familiar name in both the Dutch and international softball-world and has earned a name for himself.
He not only has been active several years as a clubcoach, but after having served already as an Assistant Coach for the Netherlands Softball Team in 1987, he was the team's Head Coach for three years from 1997 until October 1999.
Hereafter, he helped create and set-up a softball-program in Greece, where he led its national softball-team en route to the Olympic Games of 2004 in Athens.
Since 2003, he was the Field Manager of the national softball-team of Great Britain, which he led through 2007.
After having had a try-out for the professional Cincinnati Reds and playing minor league-baseball briefly, Montvidas comes to the Netherlands in 1975 to play baseball for one season for then First Divisionist Giants Diemen, then returns the next year playing for big league-team Kinheim.
Montvidas again returns and adds three more seasons for Giants Diemen, which in the meantime has promoted to the Dutch Major League.
Next, he plays five seasons for HCAW and is building a future for himself in the Netherlands, where he not only stays to work (he becomes a producer for NOS-TV News, Dutch national television) and live, but also marries former national team-player Lucične Geels and becomes a well-respected softball-coach.
By the way, Lucične's father Ruud Geels is a wellknown former soccer player, who played not only on the highest professional level, but also in the national team.
Craig and Lucične have two sons, Taylor and Quinn.
In the eighties, Montvidas starts to combine playing himself with coaching and that becomes a busy period.
He not only plays the infield for HCAW, but at the same is the Head Coach for both the baseball- and softball-team, which at that time both play on the highest level.
Coach Montvidas leads the baseball-team for three seasons and is Head Coach of the softball-team for eight years, leading them to the Dutch title three times.
Hereafter, he is the Head Coach for five seasons with Twins. He guides this team to the Dutch championship once.
In between, he is the Head Coach of Bussolengo in Italy.
He also wins two European Cups with HCAW and Twins.
In twelve seasons as Head Coach in the Dutch big league, Montvidas' record is 251-179 and one tie.
Besides his coachingactivities in the eighties, Montvidas organizes the successful baseball- and softball-camps of Pro-Motion, sets up a well-oiled indoor softball-competition in 1990 in Amsterdam (which then runs for a few years), conducts several instructional meetings during clinics in both the Netherlands and abroad and coaches women basketball-teams.
Since 1996, Montvidas is an ISF clinician and since then, he conducts clinics in China, Japan, Italy, the Czech Republic and Botswana.
When Craig plays baseball for Giants Diemen in the seventies, Caroline Theunissen, who is the National Team's Business Manager in 2008, plays softball for this club.
National team players Sandra Gouverneur, Daisy de Peinder and Marjan Smit, who in 2008 participate in the Olympic Games in Beijing (China), are at the start of their international career when they played for Montvidas in the Dutch National Team in the nineties.
Montvidas also worked before with Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, who did the videocamera-work during the Pro-Motion camps, worked at the office of the organisation in Naarden and made a video-movie during HCAW's participation in the 1986 European Cup-tournament.
The two also worked together, writing for Double Play-magazine and during the Indoor Softball Competion.
2011 --- In June, Craig Montvidas participates with the Dutch National Team as Head Coach in the Torneo 150 Anni Unitá d'Italia in Bollate (Italy) and therefore is a member of the team's staff when it plays the 100th game in history against Italy on June 2 ---
On August 6, he leads the Dutch Team to its second consecutive European title, beating Italy 10-2 in the final of European Championship in Italy.
2010 --- On June 19, Craig Montvidas reached a milestone, as he coached in his 100th international game as coach of the Dutch National Softball Team. The milestone game came against Venezuela, the final game of the Venezuela International Series, which was part of the preparations for the World Championship.
2009 --- On April 8, Craig Montvidas, Saskia Kosterink and Rebecca Soumeru, accompanied by Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, participate in a softball lecture at the Japanese School of Amsterdam ---
On May 3, in the opener of the Holland Tour vs. Euro Stars, Craig Montvidas coaches in his first game with the Dutch National Team since 1999 ---
On August 1, on the European Championships in Valencia (Spain), Montvidas guides the team to the first European title for the Netherlands in 19 years ---
On September 2, Craig and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar accompany players Anne Blaauwgeers, Petra van Heijst, Saskia Kosterink and Rebecca Soumeru to Papendal to participate in the final of a fundraising for Right To Play.
2008 --- In November, Craig Montvidas agrees to become Head Coach of the Dutch National Women Softball Team ---
On December 23, his naming becomes official, as the Dutch Federation announces Montvidas is the new Head Coach for the coming four years, succeeding Liz Kelly ---
Montvidas is one of thirteen different coaches to have led the Dutch national squad since 1964 and becomes the second to be Head Coach twice.
2007 --- During the European Championships in Dutch capital Amsterdam, the Montvidas-led British softball-team ends up in fifth place ---
During the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Italy, Great Britain is a contender for the final with favorites Netherlands and Italy, but eventually ends up empty-handed ---
This is the last year, Montvidas leads the British national squad.
2006 --- During the World Championships in Beijing (China), Montvidas leads the National Team of Great Britain to victories against North Korea, New Zealand and South Africa and finishes in a tenth place overall.
2005 --- During the European Championships in Prague (Czech Republic), the British softball-team ends up in fourth place.
2004 --- The British softball-squad improves more under the leadership of Coach Montvidas.
2003 --- The national team of Great Britain, which is led by Craig Montvidas for the first time, wins the Olympic Test Tournament in Athens (Greece) ---
Later in the year, the British squad participates in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and finishes in fifth place during the European Championships in Italy.
2002 --- As Montvidas is unable to transfer to Greece and live there, he leaves the National Team and the program ---
He is succeeded as Head Coach by Linda Wells, who in 2008 is a member of the coachingstaff of the Netherlands National Team.
2001 --- Led by Craig Montvidas, the Greek National Team participates for the first time in an international tournament ---
In Vienna (Austria), the team finishes in tenth and last place during the European B-Championships, but gains its first international experiences.
2000 --- Starting this year, Craig helps create a softball-program in Greece, which has no softball-history, to prepare for the Olympic Games of 2004, which are then held in Greek capital Athens ---
A National Team, in this period without American-born players, is set up and the first international games are being played.
1999 --- Another busy year for the Dutch National Team, which has its last chance to qualify for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 ---
In March, the team travels to Australia, then plays a series of eleven mini-games against Australia in the Netherlands in May ---
In June, a third place is reached during the Haarlem Softball Week, which has a strong field of participants, including Japan, Australia and China ---
Next, the final is reached of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Italy, but the host country wins 2-0 and qualifies for the Olympics ---
Hereafter, the team finishes in fourh place during the European Championships in Antwerp (Belgium) ---
In October, Montvidas resigns as Head Coach.
1998 --- The Dutch National Team this year travels to the USA to not only start its preparations for qualification for the Olympic Games of 2000 in Sydney (Australia), but also the World Championships later this year ---
In July, the National Team participates in the Canada Cup ---
In Fujinomiya City (Japan), Montvidas leads the National Team to victories against the Czech Republic, South Africa, Chinese Taipei and Denmark, but nevertheless finishes in fifth place in Group I during the World Championships, therefore missing the play-offs and the first possibility to qualify for the Olympics.
1997 --- In his first year as Head Coach of the National Women Team, Montvidas leads the squad to the final of the European Championships in Prague (Czech Republic), but the team is shutout 3-0 by Italy ---
This year, the National Team also participates in the Haarlem Softball Week.
1996 --- After completion of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Craig Montvidas is named the new Head Coach of the Dutch National Team, succeeding Ruud Elfers.
1995 --- After having coached the softball-team of Twins for five seasons, Craig Montvidas is being named Technical Coordinator of the entire Twins-organisation and becomes responsible for all technical facets of some 14 baseball and softball-teams of the club.
1994 --- Another successful season for Coach Montvidas, as he leads Twins to the Dutch softball-championship ---
This time, Twins sweeps Terrasvogels in two games in the play-offs, then defeats HCAW in five games in the Holland Series to claim the title ---
Some weeks before, there was more success, as the team won the European CupWinners Cup in Livorno (Italy).
1993 --- With the softball-team of Twins, Montvidas again qualifies for the Play-Offs for the Dutch title ---
The team also participates in the European Cup-tournament in Nice (France), reaches the final and ends in second place.
1992 --- Twins has another good season, as Montvidas leads the squad to the Holland Series ---
In the championship final, Twins is beaten by Montvidas' previous club HCAW.
1991 --- In his second season with Twins, Montvidas leads the team to the play-offs.
1990 --- Montvidas returns to coaching in the Netherlands and becomes the Head Coach of Twins in the Dutch big league ---
Earlier in the year, he presents and heads the newly invented Indoor Softball Competition, which is played in Dutch capital Amsterdam.
1989 --- This year, Craig Montvidas is the Head Coach of Bussolengo in the highest Italian league ---
His wife Lucične is one of his players in Italy.
1988 --- In his last season as Head Coach with HCAW, Montvidas leads the team to its second Dutch title in a row and third overall under his leadership ---
With a 30-15 record, the team comes in third place in the regular season and sweeps Terrasvogels in two games in the Holland Series ---
Earlier in the season, HCAW wins the European Cup in Antwerp (Belgium).
1987 --- While being the Head Coach again of the softball-team of HCAW, Craig Montvidas is named Assistant Coach for the Dutch National Women Softball Team in the staff of American coach Diane Schumacher ---
The national team participates in the Haarlem Softball Week and finishes in third place ---
With HCAW, Montvidas guides the women team to its second Dutch championship ---
The team finishes in first place in the regular season by winning 27 games, then sweeps HHC in two games in the Holland Series.
1986 --- Starting this year, Montvidas now is focusing entirely of coaching the softball-team of HCAW, which finishes in fourth place ---
In Oosterhout (Netherlands), he reaches the final of the European Cup-tournament ---
In July, the last edition of Double Play is released ---
This year, Pro-Motion, which is headed by Montvidas, conducts three successful baseball- and softball youth camps in the Dutch cities Haarlem, Huizen en Nuenen and is concluded in October with the participants meeting four members of the Los Angeles Dodgers-organisation. In the next two years, more camps are set-up.
1985 --- In his first non-playing year, Montvidas is again the Head Coach of both the baseball- and softball-team, but this will be his last with the baseball-squad ---
With the softball-team, Montvidas leads the squad to its first Dutch championship, winning 24 games in the regular season.
1984 --- For the second year in a row, Montvidas combines playing baseball for HCAW, while also serve as the Head Coach for both the baseball- and softball-team of the Bussum-based club ---
After the season, he retires as player, finishing with a .313 batting average, the second best of the team ---
In eight big league-seasons, Montvidas plays in 262 games, scores 198 runs, has 96 RBI's and hits 303 basehits, including seven homeruns and steals 80 bases.
1983 --- Craig Montvidas gets busier starting this year ---
He still plays baseball for HCAW in the First Division and is the Head Coach of the softball-team, but for the 1983 season, he also is named the Head Coach of the baseball-team of HCAW ---
In January, the first edition of the baseball and softball monthly Double Play is presented with Montvidas being one of the editors and publishers.
1982 --- This year, Montvidas again combines playing baseball and coaching the softball-team of HCAW ---
The softball-squad, which debuts on the highest level, wins 22 games and qualifies for the play-offs immediately ---
It also reaches the Holland Series, but is then swept by Terrasvogels in two games ---
As a player, Montvidas leads the baseball-team of HCAW with a .293 batting average, collecting 39 basehits, but the team relegates to the First Division.
1981 --- While remaining active as a baseball-player, Craig makes his debut as a softball-coach, as he is named the Head Coach of the softball-team of HCAW, where he also plays baseball ---
In his first year, he leads the softball-team to the title in the First Division with a 22-6 record, which leads to promotion to the Dutch big league ---
As a baseball-player, his .314 batting average is the second highest of the team, trailing countryman Scott Donop ---
He scores 23 runs, has 44 basehits and steals 13 bases, which puts him in the top-20 of the league-list, one more than Harm Horeman, the father of former national team player Dana Horeman.
1980 --- Craig Montvidas plays in his first season for HCAW in Bussum ---
In his first season with HCAW, he hits .288, scores 37 runs and has 16 RBI's, both career-highs ---
He also sets a career-high with 16 stolen bases and shares third place in the league, which is led by Don Wedman, who in 1985-1986 is the Head Coach of the Dutch National Softbal Team ---
Later in the season, Montvidas makes his coaching debut when he takes over the baseball-team of HCAW in mid-season, while also remaining an active player on the squad.
1977 --- In his third baseball-season in the Netherlands, Craig Montvidas is playing again for Giants Diemen, which promoted to the highest level in Dutch competition ---
He also plays for Giants Diemen in the 1978 and 1979 seasons ---
At Giants, Montvidas is a teammate of fellow-American Steve Matthew, who since 2001 is the Head Scout of the Dutch National Baseball Team ---
In 1977, in his first year back with Giants, Montvidas is the third best hitter of the team with a .307 batting average, trailing Steve Matthew and Ben Richardson.
Montvidas collects 47 basehits, the highest total in his 8-year big league-career, and scores 28 runs ---
In 1978, Montvidas hits .257, followed by a .267 average and 31 runs in 1979.
1976 --- Montvidas returns to the Netherlands and makes his debut in the Dutch Major League, playing for Kinheim in the city of Haarlem ---
In his first big league-season, Montvidas scores 18 runs and registers 31 basehits, including six doubles and one homerun for a .271 batting average.
1975 --- Montvidas comes to the Netherlands to play baseball for First Divisionist Giants Diemen.
1974 --- In his Senior-year at the University of Hartford (Connecticut, USA), Craig Montvidas is the co-teamcaptain of the baseball-team of the Hawks.