Rob Traverse - Head Coach (18U Blue Team)
Director and Coach, Rob Traverse has led the RI Fire n’ Ice softball program since its inception 12 years ago. Under his direction, RI Fire n’ Ice has grown into an elite U18 softball program on and off the field.
A veteran in the coaching ranks, Traverse has spent 20 years as head softball coach at East Providence High School before retiring from the position in 2019. He coached the Townies to the Southern Divisional Championship in 2001, 2004 and 2005 and has over 230 wins to his credit in division I. During his tenure, the Townies have qualified for the Division I state playoffs 19 out of 20 years. In 2019, the team received the Sportsmanship Award for D1 while finishing 11-5 on the year. In 2016, the Townies received the "It Takes a Team Award" by the Providence Journal. Traverse was named “Division I Coach of the Year” in 2013 and reached the Final Four in 2017 for the first time since 2005. In addition, he has provided instruction at numerous softball and baseball camps throughout the region for the past 32 years.
As a player, Traverse was a standout second baseman for East Providence High School earning all-star and all-state selections in 1985. He went on to play Division I collegiate baseball at the University of Rhode Island from 1985 to 1989 and was named team captain in his senior year.
Traverse graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1989 with a degree in education and is currently a guidance counselor at East Providence High School. He has been a teacher/counselor for 32 years in the East Providence School System.
PJ Bessette - Head Coach (18U Red Team)
PJ Bessette is back in his third year with FNI as the Head Coach of the Red Team. PJ has been involved with fast-pitch softball since 2009. He founded the Cranston/RI Ravens Organization in 2012. In addition to his experience in the world of travel softball, PJ spent 7 years as the head coach at Cranston East guiding them to the playoffs in both D1 and D2. In addition, he was named DII Coach of the Year in 2014. In 2019, he was named the assistant coach of the Cranston West HS softball team. Recently, PJ was named head coach of the Falcons for the 2022 season. Further, PJ was the president of the RI Softball Coaches Association for the past two years. He is Cranston police officer and resides in Cranston with his wife and 3 daughters.
Mike Beaton - Blue Assistant Coach
Coach Beats has been an assistant coach with Rhode Island Fire n’ Ice for 8 years. His knowledge of the game and positive approach have made him a valuable part of the organization and a big reason for the program's success. Mike has does an excellent job teaching the outfielders and working as a hitting instructor.
Ally Beaton - Assistant Coach
Coach Beats will be entering her 5th year as a coach at FNI. As the former 18U Blue Showcase Team's top assistant for the past 4 years, Coach Beats brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as both coach and player. A graduate of Assumption College, and a Hound all-time great, Ally earned DII All-East Region in her senior year. In addition, Coach Ally earned First Team All-NE 10 multiple times as well as being the runner-up for “Female Athlete of the Year” at Assumption in her sophomore season. Coach Beats was named captain in both her junior and senior years as a Hound. Ally is one of the greatest players to ever play for FNI and brings attention to detail and ability to connect with the players and coaches alike. While at Smithfield High School, Coach Beats was named Providence Journal First-Team All-State for each of her four years.
Rich Fonseca - Assistant Coach
Coach “Fons” returns for his fifth year with FNI. Coach Fons was a standout college baseball player who played for former Red Team Coach, John LaRose at Johnson and Wales University. After graduation, Fons also served as one of Coach LaRose’s assistant coaches at JWU. His knowledge of the game, experience as an infielder, love for fitness, and calming influence always makes Coach Fons a welcome sight. He will serve as an instructor to both teams but be the lead assistant to the Red Team during tournaments.
Bri Castro - Assistant Coach
Coach Bri is in her second season as an assistant coach of the 18U Blue Showcase Team. Coach Bri was a standout catcher and second baseman at URI for four years, before graduating in 2017. This past June, Coach Bri was invited to try out for the Colombian National Team with the hope of competing in the next Olympic games. She brings an expertise in the area of catching and also a first-person experience at what it takes to play at the D1 level. Coach Bri will once again, be an invaluable mentor to our young ladies.
Mackenzie Richards - Assistant Coach
Coach Mack is in her first year with FNI as assistant to the 18U Red Showcase Team. A standout player at Cranston East, playing under Coach PJ Bessette, Mack went on to a stellar career at Assumption. A 3-year starter at the hot corner, Mack was a true leader for the Hounds both on and off the field. She brings a competitive edge that will certainly rub off on our players.