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Chad Buchmann, a 1998 Lakeland graduate and a Sheboygan native, has been named the Muskies' new softball coach.
He replaces Jill Staaf, who resigned following this past season to return to the East Coast.
Buchmann comes back to Lakeland after serving as head softball coach at Jamestown College, an NAIA school in North Dakota. He is a familiar face both to the Lakeland campus and the Sheboygan community.
He is a 1994 Sheboygan North High School graduate, and his mother, Linda, lives in Sheboygan. The Muskies' new coach said the return home will make his transition much easier.
"I have always wanted to coach at Lakeland," said Buchmann, who also served Jamestown as an assistant football coach. "I knew Coach Staaf, actually recruited with her last summer, and knew she was doing well at Lakeland. I was not looking to leave Jamestown, but this opportunity opened up.
"I'm thankful to Coach Bouche for giving me this opportunity. I have the edge of knowing this area and knowing Lakeland. I recruited this area while I've been at Jamestown. I know there's good softball in this area and the state."
Jamestown's softball program was 65-41 during Buchmann's tenure. He was a solid recruiter, adding 30 new players over two years, and helping with recruiting for several other sports.
During the summers, Buchmann is a head softball coach with the USA Athlete's International Organization. He has lead teams to gold medals on a 2003 Australian Tour and 2004 Aruba Tour. He was also head softball coach from 2000-02 at Dover-Eyota High School in Eyota, Minn.
Buchmann is no stranger to the tradition of the program he's taking over. During his time at Lakeland, Buchmann was an assistant softball coach for teams that won the 1997 and 1998 Lake Michigan Conference tournaments. He played football, tennis and volleyball while earning his bachelor's degree in exercise science at Lakeland.
After winning the LMC regular season title in 2003, the Muskies were 16-22 this past spring and finished third in the league. Freshman pitcher Leslie Doxtater was named co-Player of the Year and co-Rookie of the Year, and heads up the returning class for Buchmann.
It's a busy July for Buchmann. In addition to moving back home from North Dakota, he is getting married to Amy Verbsky this month. She is a registered nurse from Menomonee Falls.