WU SOFTBALL STAFF/COACHES
Sean Rose, M.Ed. is the General Manager and Founder of Worcester Union Athletics. Sean has been coaching youth teams for over twenty years. He is a resident of Worcester, and has coached competitive basketball and softball through such organizations as Girls Inc., Schwartz Little League, Rising Stars Basketball, Crushers Softball, Huskies Basketball, and Rockets Softball. Previous to his coaching in Worcester, Sean Rose was a Program Administrator for the Town of Barnstable Recreation Department. He was also instrumental in co-creating the largest therapeutic sports league in Massachusetts for at-risk youth and has been influential in helping sports become a clinical modality.
Meg has been a fixture of the Worcester County Softball community for nearly 30 years as a player, coach and league director. As a player at Tahanto Regional, Meg played third base and would continue on at Plymouth State playing both third base and shortstop. After college, Meg became the assistant Varsity coach at Tahanto until her own children became of age to play themselves, and she would begin coaching them and the area youth from 1998 to 2007.
As a coach and league Director of the Joe Schwartz Little League, Meg's teams would go on to win District and Regional Championships before embarking on ASA tournament softball.
Meg went on to become director of the Mass Galaxy ASA Program from 2007-2012 where she was charged overseeing the program in addition to applying her knowledge of the recruitment process. Her rapport built over the years with the college coaching ranks has allowed her to assist players at St. Peter Marian, where her children attended, and make it easy for players and their families to navigate the recruitment process. A talent and skill set she is excited to bring to Worcester Union.
Meg also sat on the City of Worcester Parks and Recreation Commission for 6 years, in addition to the 365Z Kindness Foundation Board. In 2017, Meg was the recipient of the Key to the City of Worcester for her community service work.
Mel Melkonian, graduate of Saint Peter Marian and Clark University, has strong roots in Worcester. Growing up in Worcester, Mel played for Schwartz Little League and played ASA with Mass Intensity Softball for 4 years. She went on to play 3 sports in high school and both softball and field hockey at Clark University. She was a standout athlete at Clark. At the beginning of her college career, she was named NEWMAC Rookie of the Year for both Field Hockey and Softball. She went on to lead the NCAA (all divisions) in points per game (4.17) and goals per game (1.78). With 115 career goals, Mel holds the record at Clark for goals in a season (32) and points in a season (75). She was also a three-time All-American for field hockey and a one time All-American for softball throughout her college career. She played infield and outfield for Clark and led her team in stolen bases, triples, and second in homeruns. She also held the second highest batting average. These accolades got her a spot as a “Face in the Crowd” in Sports Illustrated in 2010.
Mel graduated from Clark with her MBA. She found a passion for health and fitness and went on to become a teacher. She will be starting her third year teaching Health and Physical Education at Worcester Technical High School in August. She had coached 6 seasons as Field Hockey coach at Tech. Two years ago, she lead the young 7 year program to their first district appearance. Mel is also a Director and Head Coach of Worcester County United Field Hockey Academy. She has also coached Varsity Softball at Notre Dame Academy for 3 years.
Mel is looking forward to her next season with Worcester Union Athletics as the 14U Head Coach and hitting instructor. She is passionate about contributing to the student-athlete experience both on and off the field and creating well-rounded student-athletes. Her players thrive off of her energy and enthusiasm for the game. Mel is confident in her ability to develop young players and provide them with the fundamentals and so much more.
Samantha has worked up through the ranks at Joe Schwartz Little League culminating her last season in 2007 with a trip to the Senior Girls Regional Tournament. She was the District 4 MVP of the East Regional Tournament.
Sam then continued on to play varsity softball at St. Peter Marian High School from 2007-2011 where she was the starting 2nd baseman. She received the Sportsmanship Award in both Softball and Field Hockey and the Unsung Hero Award, and was a Central Mass All-Star white attending SPM.
While playing at SPM, Samantha also played for Mass Galaxy U18 Elite under coach Steve Goodale as the second baseman and lead off hitter with a career BA of .461, OBP of .632 and a .985 Fielding percentage. Samantha continued to play softball in college at Western New England University for Lori Mayhew, where she was the starting second-baseman from 2011-2015, receiving rookie of the week nods, as well as player of the week in all four years for the Commonwealth Coast Conference. She was a CCC All-Team both Junior and Senior Year, named to the NFCA Scholar All-America Team twice, won the WNE Unsung Hero Award as a Junior, and helped her team reach the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
She was the manager and head coach of the Abbey Kelley Varsity Softball Team in 2016 and 2017, where she coached them to their first district game ever in the school's history. She then continued on to coach Lincoln Sudbury Softball.
Samantha holds a BS in Forensic Chemistry from WNEU, and a Masters in Chemistry from University of Lowell. She worked for the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab as a Forensic Chemist and is now a chemist for Raytheon.
Samantha enjoys to spend time giving back to her community through walks with the Miss Q Campquest, assisting her mother with ASA coaching, peer tutoring, and working on area clean-ups across her community.
Steve Brunelle: 16U Coach
Steve Brunelle has been an athlete and a coach in Worcester for over 40 years, playing baskeball and football for Doherty High School and continued with both while getting his degree at American International College. He has been involved in youth sports the past 13 years in Worcester. Steve has coached both young men and women, 4 years on the basketball courts at St. Joe's, 4 years on the football field at Doherty High School and 13 years as a baseball/softball coach at Joe Schwartz Little League. He has been responsible for 3 All-Star Teams in his tenure, and also was instrumental and successful in starting the AAU Baseball program for the Central Mass Wolfpack, who played in the Regional their inaugural year.
Coach Brunelle also spends many hours working in the community with different endeavors such as board member and Vice President of Joe Schwartz Little League, the Boys and Girls Club Kids Cafe, working to support toy drives and backpack drives through Herlihy, , Working for Worcester, PanMass Challenge/Dana Farber, and supports the Joslin Diabetes Foundation.
Steve has been working in the insurance business for over 25 years, and currently is the Vice President of Sales at Herlihy Insurance Group. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Jean Murphy: 18U Coach
Jean has been the Elementary Physical Education teacher in Sturbridge, Massachusetts for the last 18 years. She is been very involved with coaching youth basketball and softball and has been doing so for the last 18 years. She has coached several recreational softball teams over the years as well. Jean most recently has coached for the ASA Program, the Charlton Wildfire.
She graduated from Southbridge High School where she played field hockey, basketball, and softball. She also played travel softball competitively. In college, Jean played at both Framingham and Westfield State College. She played second base and outfield. In addition, Jean has a passion for exercise. She is an avid runner, biker and fitness instructor. She enjoys helping youth and adults maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Liz Panagiotou: 12U Assistant Coach
Coach Liz is native of Worcester, MA. She attended and played softball and basketball at Doherty Memorial High School. She studied Sociology at Worcester State University. She has been coaching at Jesse Burkett Little League both in regular season and All-Stars since 2018.
Coach Liz’s AAA team won the championship in her inaugural season of coaching. She joined Worcester Union as an assistant coach in 2020. Her goal for coaching softball is to help develop strong independent young women who can learn life lessons for the future while teaching the fundamentals of playing ball.
Liz is the President and owner of Employee Benefit Advisors based in Worcester, MA.
Emma Thorpe: 18U Assistant Coach
Emma was raised in Massachusetts and has played competitive softball for the past 14 years. She graduated from Tantasqua Regional High School where she played softball and was awarded Captain her sophomore through senior years. Emma was a pitcher, first baseman, and also a switch hitter. During the summers, Emma continued to play travel softball with teams such as Sturbridge, The Rebels and BackRoads Express. She moved to Connecticut shortly after her graduation from high school.
Emma received her Criminal Justice - Investigative Services and Forensic Computer Investigation degree from University of New Havel in 2018. She is pursuing a career in the Department of Corrections. She enjoys staying active by hiking, going to the beach and working out. She cannot wait to get back on the field to assist the girls and watch their hard work push them forward, on and off the field.
Elizabeth Ward: Community Service Coordinator
Liz has been a teacher in the Worcester Public Schools for the past eleven years at Worcester Technical High School. She is the AVID Instructor/Coordinator for the program at Worcester Tech where she has worked closely with many community partners within the city and has strong understanding of developing strong relationships with our youth and our community. Liz holds a B.A. from Salve Regina University and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from American International College.
Aside from teaching, Liz was the Senior class advisor in 2014- The year Barack Obama was the commencement speaker, is the Mentor/Ally for the 100 Males to College program which collaborates with Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College, and is the National Honor Society Advisor. As the NHS Advisor, Liz has worked hard to place her students with volunteer opportunities all over the city within multiple community programs such as Christopher House, Belmont St School tutoring, CMHA (Walk for the homeless and Youth Summits geared to end youth homelessness), American Heart Association, Walk for ALS, Dresses that Cure (ACS), as well as various fundraisers such as Dimes for Diapers, Hat & Mitten Drives, Jeans for Teens, Canned Food (Worcester County Food Bank) and book Drives for donations to the Worcester County House of Correction Educational Programs and other schools within the District.
Liz is a true believer in giving back to the community as a way of personal development and world issue awareness. She will continue to work hard with these young women to ensure that they become well- rounded global citizens with a true understanding of “Community”.