LOUISVILLE, Ky – The NFCA announced its 2016 High School Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year. Five prestigious programs from their respective NFCA regions were chosen for the honor.
Headlined by state champion Elmira Notre Dame (N.Y.), the coaches represented have been highly successful throughout their tenures with multiple coaches logging 20 years or more at their schools.
East Region – Elmira Notre Dame (N.Y.) Record – 21-4
Head Coach – Steve Weber
Assistant Coaches – Bruce McMail, Stacy McMail, Megan Weber
Coach Weber won his 400th career game with a victory in the Sectional Title game. The staff, with three members being together for 21 years, brought home their second State Championship in five years after competing in the state finals for the second straight year.
North Region - Downers Grove South (Ill.) - Record - 36-4
Head Coach – Ron Havelka
Assistant Coaches - Jim Cushing, Lauren Berg, Bill Drenth, Chuck Robinson
Downers Grove South reached the semifinals of the 4A state tournment and was a top-ranked program in the state the entire 2016 season. Earned multiple victories over top teams from other states, including Indiana and Florida. Twenty-four year veterans, Havelka and Cushing, have been a mainstay at Downers Groves have amassed over 700 wins. Havelka, an ICA Hall of Famer, has decided to retire after this season after an extremely successful career.
South Region - Spain Park (Ala.) – Record – 40-19
Head Coach - C.J. Hawkins
Assistant Coaches – Allyson Ritenour, Ryan Thompson, Eric Gibbons, Chad Miller, Jason Zajac
The coaching staff at Spain Park guided their team to an Area and South Central Regional Champion and a State runner-up finish. Under coach Hawkins’ tutelage, student-athletes garnered All-American (1) and first-team All-Region (2) honors.
South Central Region - Pearland (Texas) – Record – 32-7-1
Head Coach – Laneigh Clark
Associate Head Coach - Michele Hyden
Assistant Coaches – Lori Boyd, Tiffany Neal, Lauren Martens
Pearland was the Texas 6A State runner-up this season. On their way to the state championship game, Pearland captured a District 22 championship and defeated the number one team in the state, Deer Park, and defending champions Katy. Clark, who earned her 500th career victory in 2016, and her staff were honored as the 2016 Coaching Staff of the Year for the State of Texas.
West Region - Sheldon (Calif.) – Record – 30-2
Head Coach – Mary Jo Truesdale
Assistant Coaches – Laura Ziegenhirt, Deb Seliger, John Mendonca, Joe Jaquez
Guided Sheldon to its second straight Sac-Joaquin Division I section title. Competing in one of the toughest Sacramento area leagues, they cruised to an undefeated record in Delta League play. It was the staff’s seventh sectional title in their 19 years together.