LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The NFCA announced its 2019 High School Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year. Five prestigious programs from their respective NFCA regions were chosen for the honor.
This year’s winners – Donovan Catholic High School (East), New Palestine High School (North), Academy at the Lakes (South), Louisville Male High School (South Central) and Artesia High School (West) – captured five state championships and won 143 games. Three programs finished 2019 ranked in the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25 Poll, one posted an undefeated seasonand finished No. 1 in the poll, while three others won consecutive state titles, including a three-peat.
These schools are now eligible for the national award, which will be announced on August 23.
Donovan Catholic High School (Toms River, N.J.)
Head Coach –Deborah Schwartz
Assistant Coaches – Dawn Dziedzic, Corey Schwartz, Kathleen Sharp, Jordan Weed
Steered Donovan Catholic to a 30-2 mark, No. 1 state ranking and the No. 17 spot in the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25 Poll … Under her watch, the Griffins won the class "B" South, South Jersey Parochial A State and overall Parochial A State Championship… Capped off 2019 by defeating all group state champions and capturing the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.
New Palestine (Ind.) High School
Head Coach – Ed Marcum
Assistant Coaches – Alyssa Dillard, Michelle Hokl, Audrey East, Matt Hayden
Guided New Palestine to a 29-3 record and its third straight state championship… It was the first three-peat in Indiana High School softball history… Finished No. 11 in the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25 Poll.
South Region – Academy at the Lakes (Land O’ Lakes, Fla.)
Head Coach – Diane Stephenson
Assistant Coaches - John Counts, Robbie Blankenship, Jordyn Counts
Back-to-back FHSAA 2A state champions… Finished 2019 with a 19-7 record… First Pasco County program and just the third area school to win consecutive state titles… 10 of 19 victories came via the run rule… 22-1 against 2A programs the last two seasons, outscoring those opponents, 231-13.
South Central Region
Louisville (Ky.) Male High School
Head Coach – Josh Bloomer
Assistant Coaches – Annie Gordon, Erika Downey, Ron Pence
Posted a 39-0 mark and won the 2019 KHSAA state championship… Finished No. 1 in the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25 Poll… On their way to the title, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 341-39 and scored the most runs in a single season by a Jefferson County Public School fastpitch program… Additionally, the season included the largest run differential per game, fewest runs allowed per game, and most runs scored per game for a KHSAA state champion since 2002.
Artesia (N.M.) High School
Head Coach – Sandra Pulido
Assistant Coaches – Casey Crandall, Monica Reyes, Kim Smith, Vanessa Lopez
Captured New Mexico’s 4A state title for the second straight year… Finished the season 26-4.