Australian softball coach Barry Blanchard passes away at 86

Australian softball coach Barry Blanchard passes away at 86
07/03/2022
Blanchard was inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2013.

Australian softball coach Barry Blanchard, who participated in two Olympic Games and three World Championships, passed away on Monday 7 March. Blanchard was Australia’s assistant coach at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and Italy’s head coach at the Athens 2004 Games.

Inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2013, Blanchard had a significant history with the sport, having been involved with Australia’s Open national programs for 17 years.

Born in Sydney on 22 March 1935, Blanchard was named Australia Men’s National Team head coach from 1996 to 1997. He guided Australia to finish seventh place at the 1996 WBSC Men's Softball World Championship with an overall 6-4 record.

Blanchard was appointed Assistant Coach of the Australian Open Women’s Team in 1997, a position he held until after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games before becoming Italy’s head coach at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, posting a 1-6 record to finish in eighth place. Their only win was a 7-5 victory against China.

He was also part of the 2009 and 2013 WBSC Men’s World Championships Australian staff as a video analyst, helping his country to win its first and only world title in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2009.

Blanchard is survived by his wife Beryl and daughters Joanne and Nerida.