Beavers tab Minot State alum Sal Rodriguez
Minot State University release
MINOT – The new leader for the Minot State softball program is a very familiar face for Beaver athletic fans.
Minot State’s Director of Athletics Kevin Forde is pleased to introduce Sal Rodriguez as the new head coach for the Beaver softball program. Rodriguez, who spent the last two years as Minot State’s Assistant Director of Athletics for Revenue & Fan Development, begins his role with the softball program immediately.
“Sal’s knowledge of and passion for Minot State University is what propelled him into this position,” Forde said. “At this level, there are a lot of good coaches who all do a great job. So, a lot of times it comes down to the little things that make the difference between success or failure. Sal demonstrated the understanding of what it is going to take to push our softball program to the next level. We have had many strong programs and have a rich history of success and we all look forward to building on that tradition under Coach Rodriguez.”
“I feel blessed to be selected to lead the Minot State softball program,” said Rodriguez, who has a long history at Minot State as the Crystal Lake, Illinois product came to the Magic City in the fall of 2015 as a student-athlete and played baseball for four seasons with the Beavers. During his playing career he earned All-Region and All-NSIC honors in 2018 and set NCAA Division II-era career records for games played (187) and home runs (29). “I am excited to continue building on the strong foundation that has been laid. I am thankful to Dr. (Steven) Shirley, Athletic Director Kevin Forde, the search committee, and the team for putting their faith in me to lead this program.”
Along with his playing experience, Rodriguez brings a variety of coaching experience with him as he was head coach for the Bishop Ryan High School softball team for the 2020-21 season and assistant coach for the Lions for two seasons, served as a volunteer assistant baseball coach for the 2020-21 season at Minot State, and spent four years as a “buddy/coach” in Tri-Cities Challenger Baseball and as an honorary head coach for Special Olympics.
Away from the diamond, Rodriguez – who received his Bachelors in Marketing, Management, and International Business in 2019 and his Masters in Sports Management in 2021 from Minot State – has served his alma mater as a marketing and social media intern for two years while finishing his bachelors, and as an admissions counselor for two years while finishing his masters before taking over his role as an Assistant Athletic Director.
“Since arriving in Minot, I have fallen in love with the community and University,” the new Beavers coach said. “I am proud to be a two-time alum, a former student-athlete, admissions counselor, assistant AD, and volunteer coach here at Minot State. I am committed to Minot State and want to see our department continue to grow and gain success. I have developed a well-rounded understanding of Minot State University that will help me connect and relate with current and prospective student-athletes.
“I enjoy working with our student-athletes and helping them reach their full potential,” Rodriguez added. “I have had many great coaches along the way who have made a positive impact on my life. This position allows me to do the same for our student-athletes. I also believe our program is positioned to be successful both on and off the field.”
Rodriguez has already had the opportunity to connect with the Beaver softball players on the diamond as he served as an interim coach for Minot State for two weeks during the 2023 season. Minot State went 4-2 under his guidance, which included a 4-3 upset of eventual NSIC regular-season champion Augustana on April 7.
Of course, taking over the program with the start of a new academic year less than a month away means Minot State’s newest coach will be very busy over the coming weeks.
“My main priority is to contact all the student-athletes and check in on them,” Rodriguez said. “Then I will work to get my coaching staff lined up, along with the rest of the administrative duties that must be completed before the team reports.”
As for what style of play to expect from the Beavers, Rodriguez says that will be determined by his student-athletes.
“Time will tell what type of style our team will have,” he said. “I believe that we have a very well-rounded team. Regardless of what the teams’ strengths are, our team will have a hard-working, high-energy, and gritty attitude.”