By Bob Behre
Legendary DePaul University softball coach Eugene Lenti, who retired in June from the Chicago school, has joined Diamond Nation’s college recruiting arm, Thomas Tarulli Sports Marketing.
Lenti brings to Diamond Nation a wealth of on-field and college recruiting knowledge that will provide significant benefits to the Finch’s Aces softball program.
“My goal is to help every student-athlete fulfill their potential both in the classroom and on the diamond,” says Lenti, who won 1,327 games in 38 years as the DePaul University softball coach. “In doing that, we will be helping them to achieve their goals of playing and succeeding at the next level and beyond.”
Lenti joined the Aces’ 18U Premier team and his former player, Premier coach Jackie Spina, at the PGF Nationals in California.
“Eug was in the dugout with us in California,” said Spina. “His presence was huge. He helped the girls deal with some tough games. He’s full of wisdom.”
Spina, a Ridge High School grad, played for Lenti at DePaul and had an outstanding four-year career with the Blue Demons.
“Eugene’s first order of business was to help our 18U Aces with his coaching and recruiting ability at the PGF Nationals,” said Diamond Nation General Manager Nick Massari. “He has made an immediate impact with TTSM and the Finch’s Aces program.”
The three -- Spina as Director of Softball Operations, Tarulli and his 25 years of marketing experience in athletics, and Lenti with his depth of knowledge in coaching softball and deftly directing young athletes through the recruiting process -- form an impressive team as the Finch’s Aces program becomes a powerhouse at placing athletes at the collegiate level.
Lenti’s success at the Division 1 level has already landed him in the NFCA Hall of Fame. His teams have made 20 NCAA appearances and won four Big East Conference championships. His 1999, 2000, ‘05 and ‘07 teams reached the Women’s College World Series.
“Coach Lenti and my dad (Tarulli) are such good friends,” says Spina. “They are going to be amazing working together to help prepare young athletes reach their goal of playing college softball.”
Tarulli certainly is thrilled to have coach Lenti join his staff.
“It is with great pleasure we welcome Eugene to the TTSM staff,” says Tarulli. “He brings 38 years of softball knowledge both on the field and in the area of college placement and development to our clients, Diamond Nation and the Finch’s Aces.”
The next big trip for Spina’s Finch’s Aces 18U Premier squad will be to St. Louis in the October when the team competes in the PGF Softball Showase 1.
“Coach Eug will be with us,” said Spina. “We are looking forward to another great trip and his contributions to the Aces program,” said Spina.