LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The NFCA is pleased to announce assistant coaches, Pace Academy’s (Ga.) Kayla Cato and Utica University’s Megan White are the 2022 recipients of the Mary Nutter Scholarship. Cato and White will receive funding to attend the 2022 NFCA National Convention, Dec. 7-10 in San Antonio, Texas.
The Mary Nutter Scholarship is an educational grant named for the former Pittsburg State (Kan.) head coach and 1997 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee who founded the National Sports Clinics. It seeks to continue Nutter’s effort to provide softball coaches at all levels access to the best minds in the sport to help them become better coaches themselves.
Cato is in her fourth season with the Knights’ softball program and also serves as the program coordinator for the Northside Youth Organization (NYO) in Atlanta, Ga. With NYO, she organizes a high volume of youth sporting events, coordinating all related logistics to deliver successful events and positive experiences for the athletes. Additionally, Cato provides hitting and defensive lessons to youth players in Atlanta.
A 2019 graduate (cum laude) of Claflin University, Cato was a four-year standout for the Panthers, earning back-to-back conference player of the year honors in 2018 and 2019 as well as a Google Cloud Academic All-District selection in 2019.
“Kayla continues to grow the game and it would a great opportunity for her to learn from the best,” said Selena Collins-Patterson, head coach at Pace Academy.
White, a graduate assistant, was hired this summer after a four-year standout career at Skidmore College. A 2022 NFCA All-American and Liberty League Player of the Year, White graduated with a B.S. in Health and Human Physiology. According to Utica head coach Rinae Olsen (White’s collegiate coach at Skidmore), White is fully committed to the Utica softball program and coaching, coming into the office every day ready to work and learn, all while working towards her master’s.“
“Megan is not only going to be an exceptional coach, but she is an exceptional human being,” said Olsen. “She has the desire and passion to learn and grow the game more than anyone I have ever met. Megan is extremely selfless and willing to do whatever it takes to make herself and others better.”
Cato and White will be recognized on Thursday, Dec. 8 during the Convention’s annual mentoring workshop.
Nutter, who passed away in July 2012, compiled a 204-125 record over eight years at Pittsburg State University. She got her start in coaching with three years as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, after seven years as a teacher in nearby Elsie, Mich.
In 1981, Nutter won the first of three NAIA District 10 titles and the first of her three District 10 Coach of the Year honors (1981, 1982, 1985). That 1981 squad finished fourth at the NAIA national championship and she served as an assistant coach for the 1983 Pan American Tri-Nationals team and was a member of the 1984 U.S. Pan American selection committee. Nutter was a 1988 inductee into the NAIA Hall of Fame.
As a player, Nutter was a two-time first-team All-American (1974-75) for the Lansing Laurels, an ASA Women’s Major fastpitch team and spent 1976 as player-coach for the Michigan Travelers of the Women’s Professional Softball League.
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaches scholarship program, 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.