LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sierra College (North) and Palomar College (South) were selected by their peers as the 2023 ATEC/NFCA Cal JC Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, the Association announced on Friday afternoon.
To be eligible, the program’s head coach must be a member and winners were voted by member head coaches in each of their respective regions. The National Coaching Staff of the Year will be announced on May 23 following the conclusion of the 2023 CCCAA State Championship Tournament, May 18-21, hosted by Mt. San Antonio College and Citrus College (May 19 only).
North – Sierra College
Head Coach: Darci Brownell
Assistant Coaches: Cortney Magorian, Brian Seva, Astril Najar-Meza, Emily Smith, Chelsea Rivera, Brett Magorian, Toni Whipkey
Sierra was the top team in the North all season and enters the playoffs as the No. 2 team in the 3CFCA state rankings. Brownell and her staff led the Wolverines to a 38-2 overall record and a second-straight Big 8 conference title with a 23-1 mark. Sierra enters the postseason as the region’s No. 1 team, having won 26 of its last 27 contests. Under the staff’s tutelage, the Wolverine pitching staff posted the second lowest ERA (1.23) and batting average against (.177) in the state, as well as ranking third with 15 shutouts.
South – Palomar College
Head Coach: Lacey Craft
Assistant Coaches: Mark Eldridge, Allie Hughen, Megan Wachholtz
Craft and her staff led the Comets to a 36-1 overall record and a perfect 12-0 record in the Pacific Coast Conference. It marked Palomar’s ninth consecutive league championship and 40th overall. For their efforts, Craft and her trio of assistants were named PCAC Coaching Staff of the Year. Palomar has been ranked as the top team in the state for most of the year and earned the No. 1 seed in the South. Under their guidance, the Comets topped the state in many offensive and pitching categories. Palomar led the CCCAA in batting average (.396), triples (25), runs (316), RBI (300), fewest strikeouts (54), on-base percentage (.460) and slugging percentage (.613), as well as ERA (71), shutouts (22) and batting average against (.177).
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaching awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from webinars to legal counsel, to in-person events and the National Convention.
ATEC/NFCA Regional Softball Coaching Staff of the Year