STARKVILLE, Miss. – Head coach Phil McSpadden and assistant Coach Bobbi Bridges of the 2012 NAIA national runner-up Oklahoma City have been named as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Monday.
The Stars went 47-20 overall and 21-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference to clinch the conference regular-season crown. At the conference tournament, Oklahoma City bounced back from a loss in the first game of the championship to win game two and its 16th league title.
At the national tournament, the Stars went 3-0 to make the final eight for the fourth straight year and sixth time since the tournament moved the current format in 2005. The Stars then worked their way out of the elimination bracket to advance to the national title game for the 13th time in school history. In the championship, the Stars fell to Shorter, 1-0, to finish as runners-up for the second time in three years and fifth overall.
This marks the seventh time McSpadden has earned a national honor from the NFCA, having done so previously in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2007 and 2011. Through 25 seasons at the helm of the Stars, McSpadden has accrued an unbelievable record of 1,269-310. Since arriving on campus in 1988, McSpadden has led Oklahoma City to the national tournament in every season but one and has now advanced to the past 21 events.
For their work this season, McSpadden and Bridges also earned the Southwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Other regional winners this season were:
East Region – William Carey University
Head Coach: Wendy Hogue
Assistant Coach: Chase Coleman & Craig Fletcher
Record: 50-11 (20-4 PSAC)
William Carey captured the honors for the East for the second straight year after winning the Southern State tournament for the first time since moving to the league last season. The Crusaders advanced to the national tournament for the fifth straight season and finished in the top eight for the third time in as many years. William Carey was also one of four SSAC teams to advance to the top eight at the 2012 tournament
Great Lakes Region – Olivet Nazarene University
Head Coach: Ritchie Richardson
Graduate Assistants: Megan Smalley
Record: 54-9 (17-1 CCAC)
Olivet Nazarene captured its third straight Chicagoland regular-season and tournament title this season and extended its streak of national tournament appearances to three, as well. The Tigers finished the event with a 1-2 record. Richardson and staff previously won this award for the Great Lakes in 2010.
Midwest Region – Central Methodist University
Head Coach: Pat Reardon
Assistant Coaches: Ross Dowell, Katie Peterson & Gene Reardon
Record: 41-14 (16-2 HAAC)
Central Methodist swept both the Heart of America regular-season and tournament championship this season to earn a trip to the national tournament. Despite going 2-1 in pool play at the event, the appearance was significant in that it was the Eagles first since 1981. This also marks second time that Reardon and his staff have earned the award, having done it previously in 2008.
West Region – California State University, San Marcos
Head Coach: Dave Williams
Assistant Coach: Leah Glasgow
Prior to the final poll of the season, the Cal State San Marcos spent all season at either No. 1 or 2 in the NAIA weekly rankings. The Cougars won the A.I.I tournament title to advance to the national tournament for the third consecutive year. Cal State San Marcos went on to finish fourth at the event; marking the second-straight year it has done so.