Hillsdale College is pleased to introduce Kyle Gross as its new head softball coach. Gross takes the place of Joe Abraham, who was hired by Division I University of Toledo in August 2018.
In his first year leading the Chargers, Gross took the team to the rarefied air of repeating a championship. Coming from the #8 seed, Gross and the Chargers won the 2019 Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament, earning a second straight bid to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. This was the first time in program history the team had won back-to-back conference tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.
Gross came to Hillsdale after serving as an assistant coach at two different Division I institutions in recent years: Presbyterian College and Kent State University. He served as the interim head coach at the University of Toledo for the 2013-14 school year.
“I would like to thank Mr. Don Brubacher, Rich Pewe and the hiring committee for the opportunity to coach at Hillsdale College,” Gross said. “There is a culture excellence and virtue at Hillsdale College and within the softball program I am honored and excited to become a part of. I recognize the privilege and responsibility in leading such a tremendous program and I cannot wait to get started.”
In his year as interim coach at Toledo, Gross made his mark on the Rockets’ program, guiding it to its best record in eight seasons while ending long winless droughts against programs like Central Michigan and Ball State. That 2014 Toledo team was also the first to post a winning record at home since 1997.
His coaching journey has also included stops at Walsh University and Heath City High Schools in Ohio.
In addition to his coaching positions, Gross has extensive experience at softball camps and clinics, highlighted by six years spent as former U.S. Olympian Crystl Busto’s hitting instructor at camps she hosted. He worked closely with Busto to develop strong hitting mechanics in camp and clinic participants. He’s also worked as a softball official at the high school and Division I college levels.
“Coach Gross brings a wealth of experience in softball and leadership training to Hillsdale College and the athletic department,” said Don Brubacher, Director of Athletics. “We are confident he will contribute to the mission of the college and provide excellent management and coaching for the softball team.”
Gross coached the Cincy Doom Gold 18U ASA Gold and Heath Crush travel softball teams for a total of six years, building strong programs in a highly competitive geographic area of the Midwest region.
Prior to entering the coaching profession, Gross was a police officer in the city of Newark, Ohio for 15 years. He received commendations for his service record and was a 10-year member of a tactical team.
In 2018, Hillsdale went 25-16, winning the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament championship in its first year as a member of the league. The Chargers defeated #1 seed Grand Valley State in the first round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional in its second all-time appearance in the postseason tournament.