July 17, 2018
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA- The only manager that the Women’s National Team program has ever known will vacate the role following the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup next month in Viera, Fla.
André Lachance, who’s managed the squad since it was formed in 2004, will transition to an advisory role with the Women’s National Team program and work to grow the program off the baseball field.
“This is a decision that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time,” said Lachance. “It certainly is a difficult choice to make but I feel that the time is right for a change and I’m looking forward to contributing to the program in other ways.”
Lachance’s tenure with the program began in 2004 when a national team was assembled to compete in the first-ever Women’s Baseball World Cup in Edmonton. Canada came away with a bronze medal at that event and has since added two more bronze (2006, 2012) and two silver (2008, 2016) medals for a total of five in seven all-time Women’s Baseball World Cup events.
He was also at the helm of Team Canada in 2015 when women’s baseball was part of the Pan Am Games sport program for the first time ever, and led the red and white to a silver medal.
“Competing in the Pan Am Games, on home soil (in Toronto), and seeing women’s baseball in a major multi-sport games was really special to be a part of,” added Lachance. “It’s amazing to see where our sport has grown since the first world cup and I look forward to playing a role in the growth and development of women’s baseball going forward.”
Apart from success on the international stage, including a current high of No. 2 on the WBSC Women’s Baseball world rankings, Lachance has insulated the program from a development perspective by creating a path to the national team. Athletes can first taste international baseball through an annual trip to Cuba that provides a top-notch baseball experience and an equally impressive cultural experience to go with it. Competitive players throughout the country now have three different Baseball Canada National Championship tournaments to strive for including a 16U event that will see all ten provinces competing for the first time ever in August.
“The growth and interest level in the game is night and day from when Baseball Canada started a national program in 2004,” explained Lachance. “We’re fortunate to have some quality people in the country that have helped foster this growth which has benefitted female baseball at the community, provincial and ultimately national level.”
In addition to his fulltime duties at the Baseball Canada head office in Ottawa as Business and Sport Development Director, Lachance will be moving into what he terms a management/advisory role with the Women’s National Team program – a role he is looking forward to.
“I will still have a major role with the Women’s National Team program and will be there to support the new manager and their staff,” said Lachance. “It is the on field component that I’m stepping away from and I’m excited at the prospect at someone new taking over and putting their stamp on the program.
“I feel very fortunate to have been manager for all these years and I can’t wait to the World Cup in August. I cherish my time with the Women’s National Team program and all of the people associated with it. It has been and always will be a huge part of my life.”