Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville head coach Sandy Montgomery, along with assistant coaches Valerie McCoy and Shannon Evans, have been named the 2007 NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year, the association announced Thursday afternoon.
Montgomery and her staff will be honored at the 2007 NFCA National Convention that will be held Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
The SIU-Edwardsville staff earned the accolade after guiding the Cougars to the program’s first Division II softball national title. Montgomery, in her 19th season at the school, led SIUE to the NCAA tournament for the eighth straight season.
The Cougars finished the year with a 49-8 record and a 19-5 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. SIUE won its last 16 games and 25 of 26 as it finished No. 1 in the final NFCA Division II Top 25 poll for the first time.
The Southern Illinois-Edwardsville staff also earned Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors. Other regional winners were as follows:
Lock Haven University
Head Coach — Kelley Green
Assistant Coaches — Kelly Shannon and Danielle Fraser (Vol. Asst.)
Green and her staff guided Lock Haven to a 52-5 season and a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. The Lady Eagles, who ended the season ranked second in the NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, won a second straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division Title and a second consecutive conference tournament crown.
North Central Region
University of Nebraska-Omaha
Head Coach — Jeanne Scarpello
Assistant Coaches — Michala Cimino, Kevin Dunn, Cory Petermann
Scarpello and her staff guided the Mavericks to their sixth appearance in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship and a 34-20 final record in her eighth season at the school. Under her guidance, UNO finished the year ranked seventh nationally and advanced to NCAA regional play for the eighth straight year.
Head Coach — Jamie Apicella
Assistant Coach — Kelsey Walker
Apicella and Walker guided C.W. Post to one of its most successful campaigns in school history, claming a school-best 45-17 record and earning the program’s first berth to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. Ranked eighth in the final NFCA Top 25 poll, the Pioneers clinched the school’s first Northeast regional title.
Florida Southern College
Head Coach — Chris Bellotto
Assistant Coaches — Jeff Lang, Julianne Dunham and Al Bellotto
Bellotto and her staff guided the Moccasins back to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, where they finished fourth. FSC, the nation’s fourth-ranked team, finished the year 51-15 and won the Sunshine State Conference and NCAA South region titles for the second straight year.
South Atlantic Region
Columbus State University
Head Coach — Tiffany Tootle
Assistant Coaches — Brad Huskisson and Jessica Bottoms (Grad. Asst.)
Tootle and her staff guided Columbus State to a program-best 58-5 season that concluded with a third-place finish in its first appearance at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. The Cougars finished the year third in the NFCA Division II Top 25 after ranking first the last half of the year. The Cougars won a third straight Peach Belt Conference Tournament title.
South Central Region
Angelo State University
Head Coach — Travis Scott
Assistant Coaches — Claudia Lopez and Kelly Rhyne (Grad. Asst.)
Scott and the Rambelles’ coaching staff advanced to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, where they tied for fifth place. ASU claimed a school record for wins on the year, compiling a 53-15 mark. Angelo State, who won the Lone Star Conference South title, finished the season ranked fifth nationally after ranking in the top five most of the season.
California State University, Stanislaus
Head Coach — Jan Schefkowitz
Assistant Coach — Paul Cavan
Schefkowitz and her staff guided Stanislaus to a first-ever appearance in the NCAA final eight after claiming the West regional championship. The Warriors closed the season with a new school record for wins after compiling a 50-20 final mark and a No. 6 national ranking.