skip to main content
Main Image.

Black Sox legend Thomas Makea appointed national men's softball coach

Black Sox legend Thomas Makea – a four-time world champion outfielder – will be the national men’s softball team’s eighth head coach.  Wellington-based Makea takes over from Mark Sorenson, who retired last December after the 2022 World Cup in Auckland after eight years in the role.

Softball New Zealand confirmed on Wednesday that Makea had been appointed through to the 2025 World Cup in Canada after a “thorough and rigorous process’’. Makea will be the Black Sox’s first Māori head coach. He affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngati Porou, Ngati Marama, Ngati Makea Ki Rarotonga.

A distinguished member of both the WBSC and Softball NZ Hall of Fame, Makea’s challenge is to guide the Black Sox back to the podium after an eighth-place finish at the last World Cup which has seen them drop to seventh in the overall WBSC men’s world rankings.

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves, embrace the challenges ahead and show our softball whānau that the Black Sox are committed to becoming the best that we can be,” Makea said. “This will take a collective effort from everyone involved.

“The opportunity to rebuild our foundation and strengthen our future generations to dream big and achieve greatness is a driving force for me.”

Makea is widely regarded as one of the Black Sox’s greatest players as an outfielder and top-order hitter in six world championships, including gold medal campaigns in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2013.

He made 143 international appearances in close to 20 years as a Black Sox regular.

Makea has been a successful, national title winning coach with Poneke Kilbirnie and Wellington and coached the Junior Black Sox in four age-group world series from 2014 to 2020, gaining two silver medals and a bronze. Makea guided the juniors to their first medal for 17 years.

His first major assignment as Black Sox coach will be Softball World Cup 2024 group stage qualifier in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 2024.

Makea’s sons, Reilly Makea and Dante Makea-Matakatea were in the 2022 World Cup squad.  His brothers Fabian and Campbell Makea also played for the Black Sox and nieces Mereana and Marama Makea have been New Zealand women’s softball representatives.

Softball New Zealand Board Chair Hoani Lambert was pleased with the calibre and quality of those who applied for the Black Sox job.  “We are blessed with some great coaches in New Zealand, so this was a very difficult decision for the panel. We are excited with today’s announcement and look forward to supporting Thomas throughout his tenure as coach.”

Black Sox legend Thomas Makea


+ Text Size -

Skip to TOP

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the server!