Mike White: Defining the Standard of Excellence

Mike White

What makes Oregon softball so great? With rainy springs and aging facilities, the deck seems stacked against the Ducks, but they have a secret weapon: Coach Mike White. The Duck softball squad rides high these days, ranked No. 1 for much of last season and currently sitting in second place nationally, they have become a force in collegiate softball.

Coach Mike White


Coach Mike White

White, a New Zealand native, came to the Ducks with impressive credentials: a Hall of Fame pitcher, he led the United States to a World Championship bronze medal in 2000 when he went 2-0 with a .89 ERA and 19 strikeouts. This isn’t White’s first tour with the Ducks. He coached as an assistant in 2003 and 2004, helping the team reach the regional finals each year. His strength as a pitcher and a teacher has helped the Duck pitching staff to become one of the strongest in the nation.

Jessica Moore, White’s first great Oregon pitcher, won the Pac-12 pitcher of the year honors in 2013 and helped propel the USA team to a silver medal in the world championships the same year. Even though Moore has graduated to the national team, the cupboard isn’t bare at Howe Field. Junior Cheridan Hawkins continues the Oregon tradition of intimidating batters. She holds the Oregon single-season record for strikeouts and is intent on helping the Ducks reach another Women’s College World Series. Senior Karissa Hovinga, a Canadian national team member who went 17-2 last season, backs up Hawkins.

Though the Ducks got knocked out of the Women’s College World Series last year, White said of the experience, “We want to make the experience in the CWS the standard for us. We can’t be afraid of the Florida and Alabama names.”

And what about those rainy springs? Yet another challenge for White and his staff, Oregon plays its preseason on the road with long swings through the southland. “Bad weather is something for us to handle, something for us to overcome.” Howe Field is much like its neighbor, Mac Court; iconic, beloved but sadly out-dated. Never fear, Duck fans, help is on the way – Oregon is building a new stadium on the site of Howe Field, the Jane Sanders Stadium will be ready in 2016, just in time for another run at the National Championship.

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 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to charles@fishduck.com  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

Michael Bigham

Michael Bigham

Raised in the Central Oregon mill town of Prineville beneath deep blue skies and rim rock, I attended the University of Oregon and during my collegiate summers, I worked in a lumber mill and also fought range fires on the Oregon High Desert for the Bureau of Land Management. After graduating from college at the University of Oregon, I swung from being budding hippy to cop work. I’m still wondering about how that came about. I was a police officer with the Port of Portland and after leaving police work, I obtained an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College. I live in Portland, Oregon with my wife, my daughter and a spunky bichon frise named Pumpkin. I’ve had short stories publishing in two Main Street Press anthologies. Harkness is my first novel.