Lock Haven head softball coach Kelley Green and assistant Kelly Shannon have been named the 2006 Speedline/NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year, the association announced Wednesday.
Green and Shannon will be honored during the 2006 NFCA National Convention in Tucson, Ariz.
The duo led Lock Haven to the program’s first softball national championship as the Lady Eagles finished the season with a 56-4 mark.
The Lady Eagles posted a 4-0 record en route to the national title, outscoring opponents 20-2. Under their guidance, Lock Haven also won the program’s first Mid-Atlantic regional title since 1988 and the first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crown since 1982.
The Lock Haven staff also earned Mid-Atlantic region honors. Other regional staffs are as follows:
Great Lakes Region — Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Head Coach — Sandy Montgomery
Assistant Coaches — Valerie McCoy and Shannon Evans (Stud. Assts.)
Montgomery and her staff guided SIU-Edwardsville to a seventh straight NCAA Tournament berth and first appearance at the NCAA Division II National Championship tournament. The Cougars won their first Great Lakes Regional title and third Great Lakes Valley Conference title in five years with a school-record 52-11 tally.
North Central Region — Emporia State University
Head Coach — Kristi Bredbenner
Assistant Coaches — Kate Gilner, Jan Farwell (Grad. Asst.) and Lauren Loucks (Volunteer Asst.)
The ESU coaching staff guided the Hornets to their first appearance in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, where they finished as the national runner-up after winning the North Central regional. Emporia State finished the season with 62 wins, the most by an MIAA team and the fifth most in NCAA Division II history.
Northeast Region — LIU-C.W. Post
Head Coach — Jamie Apicella
Associate Head Coach — Michelle Bettles
Student Asst. Coach — Katie Houst
Apicella and his assistants guided the Pioneers to a school-record 44-11 final record after advancing to the Northeast regional championship game for the third time in the last four seasons. His squad went 18-0 in NYCAC action, giving the program 37 games without a loss in conference action.
South Region — Florida Southern College
Head Coach — Chris Bellotto
Assistant Coaches — Jeff Lang, Julianna Coleman-Dunham, Stephanie Huber (Grad. Asst.), and Todd Skrzyniarz (Stud. Asst.)
Bellotto and her Moccasin staff guided Florida Southern to a third place finish at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. The Moccasins tied the 2004 team’s school record for victories with a 55-8 record. The 2006 FSC squad set school records for runs scored, home runs and shutouts as it won its second NCAA South Regional title in three years.
South Atlantic Region – Georgia College and State University
Head Coach — Ginger Miller
Assistant Coaches — Amanda Harris and Kristin Hughes (Grad. Asst.)
Miller and her staff guided GCSU to a school-record win total with a 45-13 final record. She guided the Bobcats to the South Atlantic Regional championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. GCSU finished the season ranked sixth in the final NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll.
South Central Region — Midwestern State University
Head Coach — Brady Tigert
Assistant Coaches — Alisha Zabel (Volunteer Asst.) and April Hill (Grad. Asst.)
Tigert and his assistants led the Mustangs to a school-best 44-15 record and a third-straight appearance in the NCAA South Central Regional. Midwestern State had the first two players in program history earn Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America honors after the team claimed its first Lone Star Conference championship.
West Region — California State University, Bakersfield
Head Coach — Kathy Welter
Assistant Coaches — Tara Licuanan and Kristine Karr-Jacobson
Welter captured her 1,000th career coaching win, the third Division II coach to do so, in 2006 as she and her assistants guided the Roadrunners to a 52-12 mark that included the program’s first appearance at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship since 1998. Welter, the CCAA Coach of the Year, guided CSUB to a second conference title in three years.