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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Records were broken and the celebrations were many as the 2023 NFCA National Convention came to a close on Saturday afternoon. Numerous high marks were set for attendance (1,763), exhibitors (169), first-time attendees (600+) and much more.

Along with the records, attendees witnessed a continued celebration of the Association’s 40-year anniversary over the four days. In attendance were 10 of the NFCA’s 15 40-year members and coaches from almost every Hall of Fame class dating back to the inaugural class of 1991.

Following All-American and Steering Committee meetings, the second Drills, Drills, Drills session opened with UT Arlington’s Jo Koon on outfield defense, Kansas City Kiki Stokes-O’Connor covering the short game and Saint Mary’s (Minn.) and NFCA Hall of Famer John Tschida on pitching.

Following drills, the membership enjoyed breakfast and recognized their peers at the Awards Brunch. Coaches earned Victory Club milestones, which included 15 coaches who reached 1,000 or higher milestones.

Additionally, a pair of NFCA Hall of Famers were honored for record-breaking milestones. Minnesota State head coach Lori Meyer became NCAA Division II’s all-time winningest coach in 2023 (1,366), while Oklahoma City head coach Phil McSpadden is now the all-time winningest collegiate softball coach with 1,874 victories. Meyer surpassed Wayne State’s Gary Bryce (1,340), while McSpadden took over the mark held by Arizona’s Mike Candrea (1,859).

Additionally, each 2023 ATEC/NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year winner addressed their peers, along with Humanitarian Award recipient Dan Grantz from Lafayette High School (Ky.) and Donna Newberry “Perseverance” awardee Jade Geuther (via audio).

Special to the Awards Brunch program this year was the presentation of the Melinda Fischer Distinguished Service Award. Merri Sherman, the Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Georgia Sports and Events Council, is the fifth recipient of the award and was introduced by the award’s namesake via video. Sherman

The Convention concluded with two rounds of three different Chalk Talks led by Teena Murray (Prosper), Lacy Prejena (Northwestern State) and Kate O’Bryan (Louisville) followed by a Down the Hallway session to finish Convention the same way it started: learning from one another through collaboration and humor. This closing event featured a variety of NFCA Board Members.

The NFCA Convention returns Dec. 4-7, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.

 

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