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Springfield Spirit Announce New Head Coach

September 10, 2003 - National Women's Basketball League (NWBL) - Springfield Spirit News Release

Stephen Fox, President and Owner is proud to announce Salvatore Verdi as the new head coach of the NWBL Springfield Spirit for the 2004 season. Sal has spent the last season as a special assistant with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun this past summer. He also was the assistant basketball coach for the men’s team at Western Connecticut State College where they were the two time Little East Champion in 2002 and 2003. Salvatore was also the assistant men’s coach at the University of Hartford and Keene State College. He is currently employed within the Hartford Public School system as a teacher.

Salvatore Verdi replaces former head coach Eileen Mastrio who due to conflicts with her family and work schedule could not return for a second season.

Stephen Fox stated that “this could be a great opportunity to bridge the playing gap between the WNBA Connecticut Sun and the Springfield Spirit seasons. The players that don’t go to overseas could play for the Spirit while staying in the Connecticut area.” Former 2003 players on the Spirit team are former UCONN stars Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Rebecca Lobo and Kara Wolters. Verdi is hopeful that these players as well as U. of Maine standout Cindy Blodgett will be back for the 2004 season. 2002 Spirit teammate and former UCONN player Rita Williams will also be courted to return. Former Spirit assistant coach Shea Ralph left after the conclusion of the 2003 season to accept an assistant coaching position at the University of Pittsburg.

The NWBL Springfield Spirit plays in the National Women’s Basketball League. The season is played in the winter months offering players a great opportunity to be seen by WNBA teams throughout the country. Teams currently in the NWBL are the Colorado Chill, the Houston Stealth, the Birmingham Power, the Chicago Blaze, the Tennessee Fury and the Springfield Spirit. For further information on the league visit at and the Spirit website is

Springfield Spirit 2004 Season Open Tryouts

The NWBL Springfield Spirit will be holding their tryouts for the 2004 season on Saturday October 4th, for 9am to 4pm at Suffield Academy. The school is located at 185 North Main Street (Rte. 75) in Suffield, Ct 06078. Over the last two seasons the spirit has added 8 players to their roster from the open tryouts. Registration is at 8:30am at the gym which is located in the rear of the campus. All players must register on line at Directions are available on the Spirit website. For further information call Stephen Fox at the Springfield Spirit office toll free at 866-870-2255.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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