Clemson has named former Stanford head coach John Rittman as its first ever softball coach. Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich made the announcement Friday morning at the McFadden Building in Clemson. “John Rittman is a proven winner and nationally respected coach, and the right person to lead our new softball program at Clemson,” Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “We have 27 months until first pitch, and John has the vision and experience to build a strong foundation and culture for years to come.” Clemson is shooting for 2020 to be the inaugural season for the softball program. Clemson Athletics received Phase I Approval for the construction of a new softball stadium from the Clemson University Board of Trustees last month. The approval allows the athletic department to select an architect and begin the design process. Rittman has spent the last three years as Kansas softball’s associate head coach. He joined the Jayhawks after 18 seasons as the head coach at Stanford University and eight years on the United States National Team coaching staff (2001-08). “I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to build the Clemson softball program,” Rittman said. “I want to thank the Board of Trustees, President Clements and Dan Radakovich for the opportunity. We want to recruit the best student-athletes in the country, and we’ll embrace the Clemson culture and passionate fan base. I can’t wait to get started.” Under Rittman, the Cardinal recorded 18-consecutive winning seasons, made 16-straight NCAA appearances, notched 13 40-win seasons and produced at least one All-American in 15 of the last 17 years. At Stanford, Rittman accumulated a 750-351-3 overall mark, coached a national player of the year, 16 All-Americans, five Super Regional appearances, two Women’s College World Series appearances and maintained a spot in every regular-season National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll for more than a decade. In the summer of 2008, Rittman made his second coaching appearance in the Olympic Games, and was an integral part of the staff that led Team USA to a silver medal in Beijing, China. The squad won its first eight games of the tournament, most by considerable margins, and outscored opponents 58-5 over the nine games. Two of Rittman’s former pupils, outfielder Jessica Mendoza and utility player Lauren Lappin, were part of the medal-winning team and carried two of the team’s top three batting averages on the 40-city Bound 4 Beijing Tour leading up to the Games. Rittman coached the 2007 USA team that won its second-consecutive title at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City and its eighth title at the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lappin and Mendoza were both key players on that squad. In 2006, he helped Team USA to its eighth-consecutive World Championship in Beijing, a World Cup of Softball title and a gold medal at the Japan Cup in Yokohama. In 2004, Rittman made his first appearance as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team, guiding former Stanford player Mendoza and the rest of the team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece. Team USA won gold medals at the Pan Am Games and the U.S. Cup in 2003. In addition, Rittman coached for the teams that won the 2002 U.S. Cup, the 2002 Canada Cup, the 2002 Japan Cup and the 2002 World Championship. In 2001, he coached the USA Red Team that won the gold medal at the U.S. Cup and competed in the Canada Cup and the USA Softball Shootout. Prior to being named head coach at Stanford, Rittman spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Washington. Before his appointment at Washington, Rittman spent two seasons as an assistant at Minnesota. During his second year, the Golden Gophers won the Big Ten Conference with a 20-4 league record. From 1988-90, Rittman was an assistant coach at Oregon. During his stay, the Ducks played in the 1989 Women’s College World Series, set several team and individual offensive records and produced an All-American. Rittman graduated from New Mexico State with a degree in journalism in 1986. He was a three-year letter-winner in baseball as an outfielder.