Coaching at the college level has been a goal for Ed Dow for some time, and now he has his chance after receiving the reins of the Tompkins Cortland Community College softball team on May 13.
“This position turned out to be open. It’s literally 10 minutes from my house, ”said Dow. “I grew up in the community. I have strong community roots. I guess it’s just the perfect storm of everything, coming together at the right time for me.
A former student of Groton High School, Dow played college baseball at Gannon University. After graduating from Gannon, he began playing fastpitch softball and played for some international travel teams, fueling his passion for the game. From 2009 to 2014, he coached the varsity softball team. from Moravia High School before coaching junior and varsity softball at Dryden High School in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
While he enjoys coaching athletes of all age groups, coaching the varsity athlete is a task Dow is particularly keen on taking on.
“At the college level you always have players who want to play,” he said. “You don’t get players playing just because that’s what you do in high school, or that’s what mom or dad wants you to do, or that’s what’s expected because [your] brother and sister have done this before. You get players who want to play the game. They want to get better. They want to compete at the highest level and I hope I can take the kids to that next level, both athletically but also academically. “
In recent history, the college softball program has been a regional and national force. The Panthers won four consecutive NJCAA Region III championships from 2009-2012, including an NJCAA national championship in 2009. However, the team has not produced a winning season since 2012.
Dow said he would like not only to return the program to “regional dominance” but also to make his players well-rounded individuals as a whole.
“I want to produce a competitive squad there, competitive for the division, the league, the region, and ultimately also at the national level,” he said. “But I also want to be able to cultivate young women academically.”
In every program he coaches, Dow enjoys making a family bond between himself and the players.
“Everything we do is aimed at improving ourselves every day,” he said. “Obviously, on the athletics field, the softball field, we are working hard on it. But also, working on the other aspects – making sure our grades are good, taking care of our family businesses, stuff like that. Also, make it obvious and make everyone aware that I am there for them. As soon as they start competing with me, in any of my programs, I always tell them, “You are now part of my family. You are part of my extended family. I will always support you and we will always work together. It doesn’t matter where you go in life.
Dow’s first season under leadership will take place in 2022, leading a program that has not been in the field for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, he said he couldn’t wait to get started.
“I am so excited for the opportunity that I have,” he said. “I know it will be a tough job to get it back on track because of all this COVID stuff that has happened. Has not played for two years. Having a two-year college to recruit, most of the players who last played have graduated. Starting over is a tough task, but it’s a task I look forward to and hope we can do a good job and rebuild this winning tradition. “