By Joey Bennett
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
After a stellar track and field career at Indiana State, Terre Haute South grad Anthony Bertoli wanted to stay active in the sport.
He spent last spring as a graduate assistant for the Sycamores, but knew his career would be best served if he spread his wings and experienced the sport he loves from an alternate viewpoint.
So, Bertoli moved to Alabama this summer to continue his graduate studies and be an assistant coach for the Division I Troy program.
“I am very grateful to ISU and all the coaches there for everything I have learned,” Bertoli said. “Jeff Martin was my coach in high school, and I've been with him a long time.
“I came down here to see how a different program works. There are many similarities from what I can tell already, but it will be good to see things in a different light.
“Getting the most viewpoints will help me to continue to improve and make me the most marketable.”
Bertoli is taking grad courses in the Troy sports and fitness management program, which emphasizes the administrative side of sports.
Coaching his own program of course, is his long-term goal.
“When I first told my dad about it, he said I was crazy,” Bertoli recalls. “I love it and I can't get away from it. It's a constant learning process, and I love learning new things and then seeing how they apply to the athletes I coach.”
Bertoli's father, Jim, brought his family to the Wabash Valley when he took a job as the head volleyball coach at Indiana State. Jim Bertoli now works in fundraising for Union Hospital, and has served as a tremendous inspiration for Anthony.
“He loved volleyball and still does, but some of the stress got to him a little bit,” Anthony said. “I really believe he loved his job as a coach and sets a good example of how if you do things right and work hard, it shows in your performances.
“He's been a great role model for me and a great father.”
Bertoli learned of the Troy position through a networking system that is highly useful in today's society.
“Coach [Jill] Lancaster was recruiting me out of high school, and I had known her from that,” he said. “I ran into her at one of our meets and she said to give her a resume and she said she’d help to try to get me a job. They got approved for a new GA position, and she got in touch with me.
“I am very excited to be at Troy.”
Lancaster likes the new viewpoints that Bertoli will be bringing to her program.
“We’re really excited to have Anthony with us this year,” Director of Track and Field Jill Lancaster said. “He brings new energy into our program, and his coaching talents will allow us to maximize our staff with the technical aspects of the sport in the hurdles and jumps as well as our heptathlon and decathlon athletes.”
Bertoli was a member of Indiana State’s Track and Field team for four years, earning a total of eight letters.
He finished his Indiana State career holding the school record for the indoor heptathlon with 5,189 points, a total he accumulated in finishing sixth at the 2008 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships. He also ranks second on the all-time outdoor decathlon list with 6,927 points which he accumulated in finishing sixth at the 2008 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships. Bertoli is also sixth on the indoor 600 meter list (1:20.52) and is seventh on the indoor pole vault all-time best list (16’-2.5”).
Bertoli was fourth in the indoor heptathlon at the 2009 MVC Indoor Championships and third in the outdoor decathlon at the 2009 MVC Outdoor Championships which earned him All-Missouri Valley Conference recognition. He was also named to the 2009 MVC Track & Field Scholar-Athlete team.
After graduating in December, Bertoli was a volunteer coach at his alma mater, working with the hurdlers, pole vaulters and combined-event athletes.
He continued to build on that success as a coach, as he earned a major distinction in the summer months of 2010. During the summer, Bertoli attended an emerging elite coaches camp at the United States Olympic Training Center in San Diego, earning some valuable experience along the way over the summer.
“Anthony’s selection to attend the USATF Olympic Training Emerging Elite Coaches Camp speaks volumes in our sport,” Lancaster said. “He was one of 10 selected for the multi-event session, and is the second coach on staff to receive this honor [as Chip Brundage attended the Olympic Training Center Emerging Elite Coaches Summit prior to his arrival at Troy for the throws session].”
Bertoli hopes that the experience he gained in San Diego will help him be a successful coach with the Trojans.
“Being at the camp taught me a lot of new techniques to be a better coach and really broadened my horizons,” he said.
The appeal of Alabama in the spring time is also another good selling point.
“I was telling someone here the other day about the Big Blue meet we once held, and I had to break up the sheet of ice over the steeplechase hazard,” Bertoli said.
Bertoli competed in every kind of event except for two, hammer and triple jump, and his versatility as an athlete is paying off in coaching.
“Having done most of the events was a big help for me,” he said. “I might not be able to set up a training program for every event, but I can step in for any coach and make sure the athletes are doing it the right way.”
Bertoli went to the ISU coaches last spring to learn more so he would be prepared for any event.
Another appeal of track and field is the lack of the subjectivity of some sports where judgments have to be made on playing time – there are times and distances to be met and no other factors matter.
“That's a good thing, too,” Bertoli agreed. “There are always different talent levels, but the biggest difference is how hard you want to work.”
• • •
• Rosselli top SMWC freshman – Saint Mary-of-the-Woods softball coach Gary Rodgers says it is just more than putting up good numbers that gets you the Freshman of the Year Award in his highly-successful program.
Terre Haute North grad Kelsey Rosselli definitely put up the good numbers last spring in her first season as a Pomeroy, batting .326 with 21 RBI, 42 runs scored, a .670 on-base percentage and a .984 fielding average.
Her classroom work, however, is what put her over the top and earned Rosselli the top freshman honor.
“She had one of our best grade-point averages, and she worked as hard academically as she did for her softball team,” Rodgers said. “Her attitude is always positive toward her coaches and her teammates. Her questions to me about the game and game situations was a good indication that she was wanting to help herself be a better player and to help her team be better.”
Rodgers looks for Rosselli to continue to improve her leadership skills as her career continues.
“Kelsey is a quiet leader yet is not hesitant about speaking up if the time is right,” he said. “Her athletic skills as an outfielder are smooth, quick, and strong. She hits with power from the left side and can also slap and bunt. She has hit 1 or 2 for us last year and I look for that to be the same scenario this year.
“Kelsey is a player that can make things happen quickly in a game to get things started for a team burst of energy.”
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.