"I am excited to have Ryan join our Alverno family," said Ott. "His experience, enthusiasm and knowledge of the game will move the program to new heights."
The recent Grand Valley State University assistant becomes the program's fifth head coach. During his season at GVSU, the Lakers won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season title and an earned an appearance in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament with a final record of 33-18.
"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to become the next head softball coach at Alverno," said Schalk. "I am extremely grateful for everyone over the last nine years who have had an impact on me as a coach and as a person."
Prior to coaching at his alma mater GVSU, Schalk spent eight seasons on the coaching staff at Muskegon Community College including the last three as head coach. As the head coach, his team amassed a 93-49 record and he was twice named Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference Coach of the Year.
In 2016, Muskegon went 40-14, won the state championship and was ranked in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Top 20 the entire season, reaching as high as a No. 9 national ranking. The previous season his Jayhawks led the MCCAA in runs, hits, triples, RBIs and stolen bases, while totaling program records in batting average and home runs the same season.
"I would like to thank everyone involved in the hiring process for giving me a chance to prove myself as a head coach at the NCAA level," added Schalk. "I'm looking forward to building a championship culture within the softball program and making history as a team."
While he served as an assistant coach, Muskegon won the 2010 NJCAA Division II National Championship as he was part of the National Coaching Staff of the Year. Additionally, the staff was also awarded the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NJCAA Division II East Coaching Staff of the Year in 2012.
"I'm looking forward to getting the fall season going and seeing where we are at and what we can do to improve as a team. I can't wait to start to implement my philosophies and mental approach to the game that I know will help create the championship culture we are looking to build."
Schalk inherits an Alverno squad that broke the single-season school record with 56 sacrifice hits and more than doubled the stolen bases record with 74 swipes. The 2017 team finished 13-25 overall and 6-16 in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play.