Trinity Christian Athletics
Kristen Keller, Director of Athletic Communications
For Trinity softball’s assistant coach Jason Bolden, he always had a dream of making it into the Hall of Fame for his coaching career. He just never expected it to happen so soon. Bolden found out on Oct. 16 that he will become a member of the Illinois Coaches Association’s Softball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2021.
“I had to check to make sure they had the right [email] address,” Bolden said. “It’s something that is really cool. It’s also very humbling. It’s still hard for me to believe.”
In order to receive this award, nominees must coach for at least 15 years and have over 300 wins at the high school level. These coaches also need to show that they produce successful players and teams. Bolden met all of these criteria coaching at Westmont High School before heading to Hanover Central High School in Indiana, which helped the selection committee choose him as one of this year’s recipients.
During his time at Westmont, he earned Coach of the Year honors and led his team to a fourth-place finish at states in 2006, which is the most memorable time of his coaching career.
“This is a moment I can relive in my brain over and over and over again,” Bolden said. “I could tell you almost everything, play by play, what happened that weekend.”
He also recalled the 2019 season with Hanover Central, where he helped the team to the Elite 8 in Indiana’s Class 3A state tournament. He also thinks about all of the players he coached in private sessions who went on to play at the collegiate level.
“Being there when these athletes make their college commitments really makes an impact on you,” Bolden said. “It tells you that you are doing the right things in the right way.”
It’s been a week since Bolden heard the news and he is still in shock. The more it sinks in, the more he realizes that he wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without other coaches, the student-athletes he coached, and, most importantly, his wife and family.
“You don’t get into the Hall of Fame without a great family, great players and great coaches,” Bolden said. “Thank you to my wife and family, my current and former players, and the coaches I worked with along the way.”
Bolden is now starting his second year on Trinity’s coaching staff, and he is excited to keep working with the players and help build the culture and skill level under head coach Amanda Fazzari.
“Coach Jason Bolden is beyond deserving of this award,” Fazzari said. “He spent many, many years building programs, improving individual athletes’ skills, educating himself and others about the game, and most importantly, positively impacting lives. We are so grateful to have him on staff at Trinity and thankful for the passion he has towards his position at this institution.”
With all of his experiences at the high school and travel ball level, he is now more than ever ready to continue building up his coaching skills and help take Trinity to the next level on and off the field. For him, this is a chance for him to grow as a coach and impact the lives of student-athletes all at the same time.
“This is an opportunity to continue be a lifelong learner of the amazing sport of softball,” Bolden said. “I learned so much already being on this side of the fence. I love it. I am just so humbled and grateful.”