Coaching Staff & Instructors
After graduating from Minnesota State Mankato where he played catcher and received First-team All-NCC and First-team All-Region honors, Matt played 15 yrs of fastpitch softball. Haefner was a member of the 1995 ASA National Championship team, was voted the tournament MVP, and was an All-American. He was a member of the bronze medal winning team in the Olympic Sports Festival in 1995 and played in five ISC World Tournaments, finishing as high as fifth place in the World Championships.
He spent seven years as the head coach of the Prior Lake High School program where his teams finished with a record of 125–43, and won two South Suburban Conference championships. In 2013, the Lakers won section 2AAA and finished as Runner Up at the State Tournament, and Matt was named MFCA section 2 AAA Coach of the Year.
Matt is the co-owner/operator of the MN Waves where he serves as the development director, hitting instructor and head coach. He has been a hitting instructor in the Twin Cities for the past 15 years and has run camps and clinics for softball players and youth fastpitch organizations.
After finishing his career at AVHS, Dan Beech went on to play at Minnesota State Mankato from 1989-2001. He also coached the Apple Valley Millers amateur baseball team from 1991-2003. Since 2003, he has been a private hitting instructor for youth ages 8-18 working with individuals and in small group lessons.
Dan is the former Prior Lake Varsity Assistant Coach and Player Development Coordinator where he worked alongside Matt Haefner from 2013-2019. In his time there, the Lakers won two South Suburban Conference championships, and in 2013, they won section 2AAA and finished as Runner Up at the State Tournament.
He is the co-owner/operator of the MN Waves where he serves as the program director, hitting instructor and head coach.
Dan Nessler comes to the Waves with a heralded resume as a fastpitch player and coach over the past 30-plus years. He is entering his fifth season as the Head Softball Coach at Bethany Lutheran College. During his tenure, Nessler’s Vikings qualified for the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) postseason tournament every year. The 2019 team won the first UMAC regular season championship in program history.
Nessler was inducted into the Minnesota State-Mankato Hall of Fame in the Fall of 2017. In 2016, Nessler was inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame. He was also a 2009 inductee in the International Softball Congress (ISC) Hall of Fame. Nessler has played on three ISC World Championship teams with Penn Corp., while being named to the All-World Tournament team four times. Nessler also played in four United States Olympic Festivals. Locally, the St. James, Minn., native was a mainstay with Happy Chef fastpitch softball teams for 14 years in the 1980s and 90s.
His 2013 and 2015 ASA 18U Boys teams won the national championships, and he’s has been an assistant coach for the 2015 and ’16 ASA/USA men’s 19U softball teams that have played internationally. Nessler has also coached girls fastpitch for many seasons.
Originally from Eden Prairie, Meghan Schellhammer grew up a three-sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, and fastpitch), lettering in all three sports her freshman year. Fastpitch was always her favorite, so after high school she played at the University of MN and was a starting catcher for the Gophers. During her college career, the Gophers won a Big Ten Tournament Championship, and she was selected to try out for the USA Junior Women’s National Team. She went to school for Biomedical Engineering and received all region academic awards along the way.
Meghan has coached fastpitch for over 15 years, from 6U in-house to 18U highly competitive traveling teams. Most recently, she has coached 8U and 10U Lakeville fastpitch players to multiple league, invitational, state, and national championships. In addition, she has developed and facilitated catching and hitting clinics for various community programs in Minnesota.
Eric Lewis has been involved in the game as a player and coach for the past 36 years. Lewis served as an assistant coach with Bethany Lutheran College in 2017. He and his wife Anne have been the Head Varsity Coaches at LeSeuer-Henderson for the past 22 years. During that time the Giants have captured 7 Minnesota River Conference titles along with winning the Section 2AA title five times; 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019 & 2021. The Giants won the Class AA State Title in 2021, the first in LSH school history. Eric also lead the Giants to second, fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes in the MN State Tournament. Lewis was named Section Coach of the Year in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2019 & 2021.
Lewis started playing fastpitch at the age of 12 years old, and played in numerous national and world championships winning titles in 1993, 2003 and 2008. He was named International Softball Congress All World in 2002, as well as North American Fastpitch Association All World in 2001, 2003, 2007 and MVP in 2008. Lewis was then inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2012.
Alli Renfroe will be returning to the Waves as a 12U coach. Alli is a former Waves and Prior Lake Varsity player. In her senior year, the Lakers were undefeated in the South Suburban Conference and ranked as one of the best softball teams in the nation.
Alli was a pitcher and outfielder throughout her softball career, playing six years for Matt Haefner and Dan Beech. She currently attends the University of St. Thomas and is finishing her degree in Health Education as a senior this year. Alli is entering her third year coaching with the Waves and is excited to bring her passion and leadership experience to the 12U program for the 2021-2022 season.
Paige Larson is a graduate from the University of Minnesota Morris where she played Catcher/Utility and earned a degree in Secondary Education. In 2014, she was Offensive Player and Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference, and Captain at Mora high school. She also competed in cross country and Nordic skiing and was a member of the National Honor Society. In her first year at Morris, she played in 26 games and was second on the team with a .386 batting average, 22 hits, 23 runs, 5 RBI, and had a .470 on-base percentage, best on the team. In 2016, after hitting for the cycle and driving in 14 runs in four games, Paige was named the UMAC Softball Player of the Week.
Paige is now the 9th Grade Head Coach at Prior Lake High School and will be in her second year coaching with the Waves.
Sara Moulton leads our off-season pitching instruction at her newly expanded training center in Eagan. Sara's goal is to maximize the physical and mental potential of every athlete. She works hard to provide expert instruction to develop top pitching prospects though both individual and small group lessons.
Sara is a 2014 graduate and 4-year letter winner from the University of Minnesota, where she set records in nearly every pitching category and held top spots on most national leader boards each year. Sara led the Gophers to 2 Regional appearances (2013, 2014), one Super Regional appearance (2014), and one Big 10 Championship (2014) in her tenure. Immediately following her impactful career with the Gophers, Sara played professionally with the National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) powerhouse, Chicago Bandits. She was a 5th overall pick in the NPF draft by the Bandits in 2014 and spent 3 seasons playing with and against the best fastpitch players in the world. Sara was a 2010 graduate of Eagan High School, where she broke and reset every pitching record and even a few offensive records. She holds career records at Eagan High School for wins (83), strikeouts (1.142), ERA (0.35), shutouts (58), no-hitters (13) and perfect games (3). Sara’s #9 jersey is retired at Eagan High School.
In the fall of 2014, Sara opened Strike Zone Sports - an elite indoor softball training facility that specializes in pitching, catching, hitting, slapping, and fielding instruction through private lessons and clinics. For the past 6.5 years, Sara has dedicated her time by leading and mentoring the next generation of softball pitchers, ages ranging from six years-old to 22 years-old. Sara has helped lead and develop a number of pitchers, to pursue their dream of playing college softball.
The Waves is excited to partner with Chris Molitor "Coach C-Mo" for our off-season conditioning. Chris has been a sports performance coach since 2006, training athletes of all ages and abilities. His knowledge, experience, and passion have allowed him to help athletes from many different sports achieve their maximum athletic potential. Chris has been a strength and conditioning coach for various professional, college, high school and youth programs including the Minnesota Swarm and University of Minnesota Women's Lacrosse. He has coached thousands of athletes through team, small group, and one-on-one sports performance training. He has also worked with professional athletes from the NFL, NLL, MLL, MLS, AFL, IFL, as well as numerous athletes playing pro basketball, hockey, and lacrosse outside of the USA.
Chris played professional indoor football for the Sioux Falls Storm and was a wide receiver at South Dakota State University where he was a 4-year letter winner. He was a three sport athlete and captain at Lakeville High School (Football, Basketball and Track). Chris is currently a competitive powerlifter and continues to play flag football, basketball and lacrosse. He is also the Owner/Sports Performance Coach at Molitor Athletic Performance in Lakeville.
As a coach, Chris strives to maximize the potential of every athlete. He takes a scientific and technical based approach by ensuring athletes use proper biomechanics to maximize efficiency. He pays close attention to detail in movement and exercise technique to develop speed, strength, flexibility, explosiveness, mobility, reaction time, among others. We are excited for our athletes to work with Chris in the off-season!
The MN Waves are excited to announce the addition of Aaron Vail to our staff. He has extensive experience as a coach at multiple levels. That experience, along with his recruiting background, will help as we continue to build our program. This season, Aaron will be a full-time recruiting coordinator for the MN Waves as well as assisting during games and practices while also helping to develop our coaching staff.
Vail arrives at the MN Waves after spending the last two seasons with the Furman softball program. When his first season in Greenville was cut short by COVID-19, the Paladins had already stolen more bases in 26 games than they had in 51 games during the 2019 campaign. The 2020 Furman squad also improved its ERA by nearly two full runs (5.89 to 4.03), on its way to a 23-spot improvement in the RPI. This past spring, the Paladins had three players earn All-Conference honors from the Southern Conference, and their 19 wins were the most for the program since 2018.
Prior to his time in Greenville, Vail served as director of softball operations at American Athletics Softball Organization in Irvine, Calif., in 2018-19 and for USA Preps in Camarillo, Calif., in 2017-18. He’s also held assistant coach positions at Oregon State (2015-16) and Utah Valley (2013-14).
Aaron is currently the head coach at Cretin-Durham Hall. Next season, Aaron will be the head coach of a national team for the Waves starting this fall.