Stacey Nuveman Deniz was named the head coach of the Chicago Bandits on Sept. 19, 2017 following the departure of Sharonda McDonald.

Nuveman Deniz, a three-time U.S. Olympian during her playing days, has served as the associate head coach at San Diego State since the 2013 season. She’s spent the past nine seasons as a member of the Aztecs’ program in numerous capacities, including recruiting coordinator, hitting instructor, assistant coach and associate head coach.

Prior to joining San Diego State’s coaching staff, Nuveman Deniz spent six years as an analyst for ESPN in addition to her numerous public speaking appearances and conducting of softball camps and clinics domestically and internationally.

“I am thrilled to join the Bandits culture and family alongside some of the game’s most talented athletes,” Nuveman Deniz said. “I look forward to getting started in Rosemont and working toward a Coles Cup in 2018.”

In addition to her collegiate track record, Nuveman Deniz brings a breadth of international experience to Rosemont, as well. After capturing gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and a silver medal in 2008, Nuveman Deniz helped guide the U.S. National Team to medal finishes at the World Cup (2006), World Championships (2002 and 2006) and Pan American Championships (1993 and 2003). She was named to the USA Softball coaching pool in 2010 and again in 2014.

A former standout at UCLA, Nuveman Deniz amassed First Team NFCA All-America recognition in all four seasons as a Bruin. She was awarded the inaugural USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award in 2002 and earned the Pac-10’s Player of the Year award on three occasions. She ranks among NCAA leaders in career home runs (90), slugging percentage (.945) and walks (240).

During UCLA’s 1999 National Championship season, Nuveman Deniz paced the Bruins with a .446 clip at the plate, smacking 31 home runs and adding 91 RBI.


The Bandits named Kyla Holas as the team’s assistant coach on Feb. 27, 2017, joining first-year head coach Sharonda McDonald on staff.

Prior to joining the Bandits, Holas enjoyed a 16-year tenure at the University of Houston, where she reached NCAA regionals on seven different occasions, including two runs to super regionals. During her time with the Cougars, Holas compiled over 550 wins and was named the Conference-USA Coach of the Year twice. Additionally, she helped oversee the university’s construction of the Cougar Softball Stadium, a complex costing approximately $2.4 million.

Holas’ other coaching capacities have included stops at Florida and Northern Illinois.

As a player, Holas was a four-year standout pitcher at Louisiana-Lafayette (then named the University of Southwestern Louisiana). A three-time All-American, she recorded a stellar 104-20 career mark in the circle to go along with a .301 clip at the plate. Her No. 11 jersey is retired by the school and she was inducted into the Rajin’ Cajuns’ Hall of Fame in 1999.


Kathy Horton joined the Bandits’ coaching staff on March 13, 2017, joining fellow first-year NPF coaches Sharonda McDonald and Kyla Holas on the staff.

Prior to her jump to Rosemont, Horton served as an exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning coach in Newcastle, Australia. She was responsible for the development and application resistance training programs for rehabilitation, fitness, weight loss, stress management and injury prevention.

Horton attended the University of Queensland where she received a masters degree in philosophy and sports coaching


Annie Smith was named an assistant coach for the Bandits on June 8, 2017 and will be with the team for the remainder of the 2017 season.

A team co-captain on the softball diamond during her playing days at Grinnell College, Smith boasts an impressive coaching resume, including stops at Georgia Southern, Mississippi State and Missouri along the way.

Smith is a 1995 graduate of Grinnell and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and psychology later that year. She continued her education in Columbia, Missouri, earning a Masters of Education in health and exercise sciences while simultaneously helping the Tigers’ softball team as an assistant coach.

Smith is a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the National Strength Coaches Association.


Jason has been working with The Chicago Bandits since 2012. Since that time he has been training the girls year round with programs designed to maximize speed and power development. His extensive knowledge of biomechanics and injury prevention ensure the girls can compete at the highest level.

Since 2010, he has worked in the private sector as The Director of Sports Performance for The Academy of Athletic Advancement. The Academy is the official training site of The Chicago Bandits. Jason has trained many professional athletes in the NPF, NFL, NBA, MLB, CFL, IFL, AFL, including NFL Pro Bowlers and NBA All-Stars. He has also trained hundreds of high level Collegiate and High School athletes in all major sports. Jason is also The Strength and Conditioning Coach for The Elite Starz, a program for athletes with special needs.

Jason is from the Chicagoland area, and attended Eastern Illinois University where he received a degree in Kinesiology. He has competed and trained as an athlete throughout his High School and Collegiate career in Football and Track and Field. His passion for training and athletic development have made him an invaluable resource for The Bandits organization.