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Updated: September 9, 2011
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Copyright © 1997-2011
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2011 by Marco Stoovelaar

Tjerk Smeets steps down as Head Coach RCH-Pingu´ns
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - Tjerk Smeets has informed the board of RCH-Pingu´ns that he will not return to the club as its Head Coach in 2012. RCH-Pingu´ns plays in the second highest league, the 'Overgangsklasse'.

...Tjerk Smeets in his last game... Head Coach of RCH-Pingu´ns...
(© Photo: Marjolein de Bonte)
In a letter to the board, Smeets stated lack of time for the reason to step down. Before becoming coach, Smeets himself played as a catcher (first base in his last season) for several years in the Dutch big league for Kinheim (2006-2010) and Amsterdam Pirates (1999-2005), as well as being a member of the Dutch National Team. After retiring from the National Team early 2009, Smeets became the Bullpen Coach of the National Team in 2010, a position he also held this year. Last year, he combined coaching for the national squad with playing for Kinheim, but retired as active player after the season, due to an injury. Besides that, he accepted a fulltime job as Marketing Manager for the Dutch Baseball and Softball Association, married and became a father for the first time. Smeets stated that his new family situation is now more important and that coaching a clubteam it is simply not combinable with a fulltime job and coaching the National Team. He therefore will not be active as a clubcoach in 2012.

On September 30 of last year, Smeets was named Head Coach of RCH-Pingu´ns, succeeding Peter van 't Klooster. In his first year with the club, Smeets led RCH-Pingu´ns to a 17-5 record in the first part of the season, finishing in second place behind Euro Stars. After the first part, the league was split with the top-6 playing for the championship and promotion to the big league and the bottom-6 playing for prolongation in this division. In the second part, the teams started with the won-loss record against the other five squads who made up the new divisions. As a result, RCH-PingŘins started the second half with a 5-5 record. In the second half, the team was 10-5, therefore finishing with a combined record of 15-10. With this, RCH-Pingu´ns finished in third place, only two points (30) behind Euro Stars and PSV (who shared first place with 32). Euro Stars then went on to win an one-game play-off vs. PSV to win the championship and meet ADO in a best-of-five for promotion to the big league. Euro Stars lost that series 3-1 and therefore will play again in the Overgangsklasse next season.

Overall, RCH-Pingu´ns was 27-10 in its first season under Smeets. A successor has not yet been named.

On Saturday, September 4, Smeets led his last game of the squad. On that date, the team played a make-up game at home vs. The Hawks and won it 4-3 on a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning by Jeroen Seggelink.

(September 9)

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