Rutgers-Camden head softball coach Carl Taylor and assistants Celeste Chinappi, Megan Johnston and Brian Wolverton have been named the Speedline/NFCA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year, the association announced Wednesday.
Taylor and his staff will be honored in December at the 2006 NFCA National Convention in Tucson, Ariz.
Taylor guided the Scarlet Raptors to a school-record 47-5 record on the season that culminated with the program’s first national title in Raleigh, N.C., in its first finals appearance.
The squad won 37 of its last 38 games, including a program-best 29 consecutive victories, and rolled to the national title with a 4-0 mark in Raleigh.
Taylor and his staff led the team to an 18-0 mark in the NJAC conference and a second conference championship in the last three seasons. The Scarlet Raptors became the first team in the conference since 2001 to claim both the regular-season and tournament championships.
The Rutgers-Camden staff was also recognized as the East Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Other regional staffs were:
Atlantic Region — Emory University
Head Coach — Penny Siqueiros
Assistant Coaches — Gary Anderson, Tamara Boggs and Stacy Tamborra
Siqueiros and her Emory coaching staff guided the squad to a 36-11 record and a 6-2 mark in UAA action. The Eagles advanced to the regional final after advancing to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in six years. They also finished second at the UAA championships.
Central Region — Muskingum College
Head Coach — Donna Newberry
Assistant Coaches — Erin Zupko, Jen Segner-Filtz, Jamie Snee and Amanda Unklesbay
Newberry and her staff guided Muskingum to its seventh consecutive 40-plus win season as the Muskies finished 46-6 and notched a program second-best third-place showing at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. Newberry led the Muskies to a ninth straight Ohio Athletic Conference as the squad continued its streak of consecutive weeks in the NFCA Top 25 Poll dating back to 1999.
Great Lakes Region — University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
Head Coach — Leslie Huntington
Assistant Coaches — Robin Baker, Billie Buss and Nicole Pederson
Huntington and the UW-Eau Claire staff guided the 2006 squad to a 37-6 final record, including a record 18 straight wins, that included a trip to the NCAA regional, where it advanced to the final. The Blugold became the first team to post an undefeated 14-0 mark in WIAC play, and they won a third straight conference crown as they set the school record for winning percentage.
Midwest Region — University of St. Thomas
Head Coach — John Tschida
Assistant Coaches — Tim Gormley, Brad Horstman and Dana Ballard
The Tommies under Tschida’s guidance tied the Division III record for wins with a 48-4 final mark that included a third-straight trip to the national title game. The Tommies finished as the national runner-up after winning the title the previous two seasons. His squad shattered the Division III single-season home run record as St. Thomas finished the top five nationally for the fourth time in five seasons and won the conference title for the sixth time in seven seasons.
New England Region — Williams College
Head Coach — Kris Herman
Assistant Coach: Sue Leclair
Herman and Leclair guided Williams to a second straight New England regional title and NCAA Division III Softball Championship berth. The Ephs finished the season 30-10 and won a school record 20 straight games during the campaign. Williams won its third straight NESCAC tournament title after claiming the western division regular season crown for the third straight year.
Northeast Region — SUNY-Plattsburgh
Head Coach — Sean Cotter
Assistant Coaches – Jamie Trudeau, Scott Hildreth, Randy Lozier, and Collette Mayer
Cotter led Plattsburgh State to a 40-9 overall mark and 19-1 finish in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. The Cardinals won their first conference regular season and tournament titles, and they earned their first NCAA regional berth where they finished as the runner-up. Plattsburgh State earned its first national ranking in 2006 and became the second SUNYAC team to win 40 games in a season.
West Region — Linfield College
Head Coach — Jackson Vaughn
Assistant Coaches — Greg Herman and Lindsey Manitsas
Vaughn and his staff guided Linfield to a 37-11 final record in 2006 that equaled the school record for most wins in a season. The Wildcats won their first NCAA West regional and fought off postseason elimination eight times en route to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. The team claimed a third straight Northwest Conference championship with a 22-6 mark.
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