Nearly 900 people have enjoyed the opening two days of the 2005 NFCA National Convention at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla. 

Wednesday’s activities kicked off with the Wilson Golf Scramble. Following various committee meetings, the opening business meeting officially welcomed convention-goers to the “Sunshine State” with reports from various organizations along with NFCA Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker and organization president Mona Stevens. 

The opening evening of the second-most attended convention in NFCA history closed with an entertaining Louisville Slugger reception that featured great food and a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. 

Tuesday’s activities picked up early with the group caucuses for NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA and Cal JC. The different membership groups discussed various topics concerning the game, while the NCAA groups heard reports from the NCAA’s Heather Perry and Dee Abrahamson. 

Following the caucus meetings, attendees toured the exhibit hall where over 90 companies were on hand to show-off their latest softball products. 

During lunch, 175 coaches were honored for reaching milestone victories last season in front of a capacity crowd at the Easton Victory Club luncheon. Two college coaches, LSU’s Yvette Girouard and Bloomsburg’s Jan Hutchinson, were awarded trophies for reaching the 1,000-win milestone last season. Robert Wenk of Case Batbusters achieved the 1,400-win plateau for travel ball coaches. 

The afternoon saw a full slate of speakers. Kennesaw State University head coach Scott Whitlock, a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee along with Girouard and former Notre Dame head coach Liz Miller, presented a seminar on coaching first and third base with assistant coach Bill Gray. 

That duo was followed by two-time Olympic gold medalist Dr. Dot Richardson, who talked about “Skills and Drills for Middle Infield Play.” Arizona assistant Larry Ray closed the afternoon of seminars with a presentation on slap hitting. 

The second evening concluded with the Diamond Sports Hospitality that included great food and outstanding music with prize giveaways. 

Friday’s full slate of activities includes the high school and travel ball caucuses along with the continuation of the NCAA Division I caucus. Following lunch in the exhibit hall, the speakers continue with Michigan’s Carol Hutchins, JustSOFTBALL owner and founder Deb Hartwig, Virginia assistant Carie Dever-Boaz, Baylor strength and conditioning coach Brandon Marcello, and Tennessee co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly. 

The NFCA’s Official Headwear, the Game, hosts a reception prior to the Speedline Coaching Staff of the Year/NFCA Hall of Fame. The banquet not only features the induction of Girouard, Whitlock and Miller into the organization’s coaching annals, but the 2005 national coaching staffs of the year will be recognized as well. 

Keep Your Coaching Pitch Perfect.

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