LOUISVILLE, Ky. – National champion Oklahoma City was voted the 2022 NFCA NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year, announced the Association on Friday afternoon. The Stars, under the direction of NFCA Hall of Fame head coach Phil McSpadden, captured the program’s 11th NAIA crown with an undefeated run at the NAIA Softball World Series in Columbus, Ga.
McSpadden, along with assistants Bobbi Bridges, Guy Cook and Harold Copas, steered OCU to a 54-6 record, winning its final 11 games of the season. Behind a stingy pitching staff, the Stars were a perfect 7-0 in postseason play, including a 4-0 mark at the World Series. OCU pitchers twirled three shutouts at the World Series, four overall in postseason play, and surrendered just three runs in 35 innings. Their final two victories came against the tournament’s top overall seed Mobile (1-0 & 3-0).
Ranked No. 1 or 2 nationally throughout the season (excluding preseason poll), the Stars won both the Sooner Athletic Conference regular season (share) and tournament titles. It marked the sixth regular-season championship in the last seven years and the 20thconference tourney crown. The previously-mentioned pitching staff finished the 2022 campaign with third most shutouts (21), eighth-best batting average against (.199) and 10th lowest ERA (1.54). Additionally, the offensive numbers were some of the best in the NAIA, ranking third in batting average (.366) and stolen bases (206), fourth in hits (602), runs (416), triples (28) and total bases (834), seventh in RBI (34*) and eighth in doubles (104).
McSpadden, the all-time winningest coach amongst four-year collegiate head coaches, reached the 1,800-win milestone on Feb. 19 and concluded his 35th season at the helm of the Stars with a 1,843-399 mark (.822 winning percentage).
Winners are voted on by NAIA member head coaches. McSpadden and his staff will be honored at the annual NFCA Awards Brunch, Dec. 10 at the 2022 NFCA Convention in San Antonio.
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaching awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from webinars to legal counsel, to in-person events and the National Convention.