UDM softball hires new coach for program

As the Detroit Mercy softball team prepares for its upcoming season, it will do so with a new head coach. Dan Vitale was named the team’s new leader in August 2023.    

Vitale wants to “rebuild this organization for the better” and also states that he is “looking forward to maximizing our potential and representing such a historical program along with our knowledgeable coaching staff who are passionate and ready to bring positive and competitive energy to build a solid foundation for the future.” 

Vitale had applied for the head coaching position at UDM a few times. The school’s athletic director, Robert C. Vowels jr. said, “He was always one of our top candidates. He has all the connections in Michigan, he knows players, he knows coaches. So, for me it was a very easy decision.”

Vitale’s journey to becoming the coach he is today has some history. He has three daughters, Nichole, Kara and Dana, who all got to pursue their dreams of playing softball at the collegiate level. His middle daughter Kara and youngest daughter Dana attended Detroit Mercy with softball scholarships, and his oldest daughter Nichole attended Davenport also with a softball scholarship. 

Vitale has been a part of the softball realm for around 20 years and does not planned to stop anytime soon. His first big break was the opening of “Vitale’s Perfect Game” in Michigan, which was an indoor complex that held six batting cages with a variety of different skilled coaches who help young players reach their full potential to play collegiate ball. Vitale was the boss of this corporation while coaching a travel softball team called the Batbusters and has sent over 100 girls to play on at the collegiate level.

Vitale was a volunteer assistant coach who helped lead his daughter Kara and the Titans to the Horizon League championship in 2019. When asked what his mindset is when it comes to winning games, he said,“My mind set is we can always win, and I never think I cannot win because it is my job to make sure that the team believes we can do it. The most crucial factor to help us win is for our program to be a positive hard-working environment.” 

Vtale’s job right before this was the varsity head softball coach at Dakota High School and is a two-time MAC Coach of the Year (2021, 2023) and Regional Coach of the Year (2021, 2022). He has the best intentions to not only improve the team’s talents to make them better ball players and help build the organization back up, but he is also focused on making the team respectable, poised young women.