By Zainab Iqbal
Published: October 5th, 2016
“It’s time to win some games,” said Tiffany Irrera, Brooklyn College softball’s new assistant coach.
Coach Irerra will be assisting head coach Antoinette Brown this coming season and will work with pitchers, hitters, and fielders, along with fundraising and recruiting.
Irerra has lots of experience, along with being a two-year varsity captain and Most Valuable Player (MVP) during high school. When she was a senior in college, she was named an All-East Coast Conference selection.
Irerra first worked at the University of Bridgeport and coached travel teams during the summer, until she decided to come back to Brooklyn. “I am familiar with the CUNY Conference and I just wanted to be involved with the organization close to home,” said Irerra, “especially softball in our area, because it’s not that big of a thing. I love the campus, the atmosphere, and the field so I decided to coach here.”
Irerra has been playing softball competitively ever since she was twelve years old. “I played basketball for a while and that’s where I was very comfortable. Then some friends and family encouraged me to try out for softball,” recalled Irerra. “And I never looked back.”
“I need [my players] to know that I’m here for them, on and off the field,” Irerra said. “We will be practicing skills that will help them throughout their life. Not only on the field, but through work experience, family experience, and that it’s important to work hard to the 100 percent of their ability.”
Irerra always knew she wanted to coach. She was always the first to volunteer and help out when necessary. In fact, she loved helping others so much she also decided to become a teacher, as she also teaches fourth and fifth grade English Language Arts. In a way, both teaching and coaching a team have very similar aspects and have taught her a bunch.
“I have to realize that everyone’s different— everyone learns different. And there are certain ways to say things to certain players. I might not be able to talk to one the same way I talk to the other,” said Irerra. “So it helped me grow patience. Someone might not get something right away. It helped me modify my language, and how I would teach something.”
Though she could have also coached high school as well as middle school softball, she decided on college because of its high intensity and expectations. Irerra also just wants to be a mentor for the girls; she wants them to have someone like she did when she was their age. “I know that it’s such a vital time in their lives. To find themselves as a person, to develop good work habits, discipline, teamwork; to help instill things that will follow them throughout their lives. And to help them love the game as much as I did.”
Though the softball team has had many accomplishments this past year, including shortstop Samantha Rodriguez being the only Brooklyn softball player in CUNYAC All- Conference’s history to be named to the top team, Irrera still has plans to improve. “I want to get some good recruits to come to Brooklyn,” said Irerra. “I hope to make the team fundamentally sound and to just sharpen skills. And to have fun. That’s the most important thing.”
Her philosophy? To teach foundations along with developing a bond with each one of the players. Softball practices are starting within the next few weeks and games will start in March. Irerra cannot wait to get started in the spring.