HAMPTON – Virginia Peninsula Community College has named Samantha Haraway coach of its new softball program announced in the spring.
“I’m excited. I’m ready to go,” said Haraway, who played collegiately at Norfolk State University and has been the softball coach at Hampton High School since December 2020.
Haraway has played softball most of her life. One of her son’s baseball coaches suggested she apply for the job, Virginia Peninsula Community College said in a press release.
“I thought that would be awesome coaching at a higher level,” she said.
Her first day on the job will be Jan. 3, the college said, adding she has been in touch with about 15 prospective players and is trying to recruit more. Once the players pass their physicals, they will be able to practice, and she hopes to start practices that same week.
The first game is scheduled for Feb. 17 at Bryant & Stratton in Virginia Beach.
“It’s going to be a new program and with not having that much time to get out and recruit on my own because of the season starting so soon, I’m just going to push to get through the season with what we’ve got,” she said. “I’m excited.”
That excitement was evident during the hiring process, according to Chris Moore, the college’s athletics director and men’s basketball coach.
“Samantha was really, really, really passionate. Her passion stood out in her interview,” he said. “She has a diverse skill set from training to coaching, working with all sorts of different populations and diversities. We thought that was really important.”
VPCC has been expanding its sports offerings. Prior to the 2022-23 academic year, the college fielded three intercollegiate teams: baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. It added softball and volleyball as club teams for 2022-23, and both will join the National Junior College Athletic Association in the 2023-24 academic year.
The college will add two more sports for the 2023-24 academic year, and two more the following year. A decision on what sports has yet to be made, with soccer, track and field, and cross country all under consideration.