Simona Conti becomes first female Baseball Coach of the Year in Italy

Simona Conti becomes first female Baseball Coach of the Year in Italy
Conti helped Italy win a U-12 European Championship. Former Olympian Marta Gambella earned the Softball Coach of the Year award.

The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) awarded two women as Coaches of the Year 2021. Simona Conti earned the award in baseball, while Marta Gambella received the softball award.

Conti is the first-ever woman to earn the award in baseball.

Born in 1981, she graduated in Physical Education at the University of Bologna in 2008. A former National Team softball player, she started coaching softball in 2002. She successfully ran grassroots projects in schools. She earned FIBS certification as a pitching coach in softball and baseball before becoming a certified baseball instructor.

Currently, Conti serves under manager Stefano Burato on the coaching staff of the Italian U-12 Baseball National Team and is the technical director of the Torre Pedrera Falcons.

"I was surprised and honoured when I was shortlisted," Conti said via Facebook. "I want to thank those who voted for me. Thank you to all my players. This award is for them. Thank you to all the coaches who worked with me."

Marta Gambella, 47, is a former softball superstar center fielder and shortstop. She played 245 international games for Italy, appearing at all levels on the international stage, including the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. She serves under head coach Federico Pizzolini on the staff of the Italian National Team.

"Softball, the world's best sport, taught me strength, taught me never to give up and keep my feet on the ground," commented Gambella.