Type to search

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Waterloo softball’s Brenda Flarida

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Waterloo softball’s Brenda Flarida


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Waterloo High School softball coach Brenda Flarida, who recently began her 24th season leading the Vikings’ program.


Q: Hometown?

A: Randolph.

Q: High school?

A: Waterloo High School. Class of 1989. Played softball, basketball and volleyball.


Q: College?

A: Kent State University. Class of 1993. Degree in Elementary Education.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Fifth grade math at Waterloo Elementary School.


Q: What inspired you to become a coach?

A: I just knew I wanted to be a coach from my playing days. It is a true passion of mine.


Q: What makes being a coach at Waterloo special to you?

A: Being a coach at Waterloo is truly special to me for many reasons. One reason is this being my alma mater. I have always taken much pride in being a lifelong Viking. I love this school and community and have had so many special players over the years and when those players come back to a game or come to see me, that is what makes coaching at Waterloo so special.”


Q: Who has been your biggest coaching influence?

A: My biggest influence as a coach and mentor would be John Herchek. Obviously, I never played for him, but being around him my whole career as a player and coach, he had the most influence on me as a coach. From his love for the game, the way he gets the most out of his athletes and his relationship he builds with his players. That is what I have taken from Coach Herchek.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: The other influential coach is coach Lynn Jones, who was my high-school coach. She cared about her players and took me under her wing as a young coach and helped me as I was starting my career. To this day, she sends me a card and texts me at the beginning of each season to wish me luck!


Q: Funny story from your playing days that people wouldn’t believe?

A: We would be at a hitting station and coach Jones had a stash of candy or Girl Scout cookies in her desk. We would sneak into her room to eat cookies. She always had a way of knowing we snuck in there and got into her cookies. I think it was the smell of peanut butter when we came back into the gym.


Q: Funny story from your coaching career that people wouldn’t believe?

A: When I was pregnant with my son Drew, who was due in two days, we were playing in a sectional final and I was waving a runner around third to score, and I slipped and fell. Mind you, I was very pregnant, and I needed help getting back up. Players and parents came to the rescue!


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: Usually there is only sports on our TV.


Q: Favorite food or meal?

A: Favorite food is steak and favorite meal is Mexican.


Q: Favorite candy?

A: Reese Cups.


Q: Best Vacation?

A: Any vacation to the beach, of course. It is my favorite place to be.


Q: Favorite quote?

A: I say this to my team every single day: “Three things we can control: Attitude, effort and how we treat our teammates.” That is what I expect from my players everyday.


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: My coaching philosophy goes back to my quote about attitude and effort and those are the players I want on my team. I feel very strongly in building relationships with my athletes. All my players, past and present, are and always will be “my girls!”


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Uncle Tito’s.


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: Carol Hunt.


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Any Vikings team, Kent State Golden Flashes, Guardians and Cincinnati Bengals.


Q: Coaching resume?

A: One year varsity softball at Garfield High School; 24 years varsity softball at Waterloo High School (310-205 career record). Twenty five years of coaching seems like so long, but I truly feel like it has only been a few years. I still have so much passion for this game and being a positive influence in kids’ lives. It is what I truly love about coaching and teaching.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *