LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Six programs were selected by their peers as the 2016 NFCA NAIA Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association on Saturday afternoon.
Representing each of the NFCA’s six NAIA regions, these respective coaching staffs – Doane College (Central), Auburn University at Montgomery (East), St. Xavier University (Great Lakes), Central Methodist University (Midwest), Oklahoma City University (Southwest) and Southern Oregon University (West)- are now eligible for the NFCA's National Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Three regional winners- Oklahoma City, Auburn Montgomery and St. Xavier- are still alive and playing in the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series.
The national winner will be announced on June 8.
Central – Doane College
Head Coach: Renae Littrell
Graduate Assistant: Jordan Olson
Recruiting Assistant: Brad Horky
Student Assistant: Carling Bloedorn
Record: 32-17 | 17-4 Great Planes Athletic Conference
Doane reached the NAIA National Championship Opening round and posted the second most wins in program history… Went 1-2 at the Championships with a victory over No. 25 Friends… Dropped a one-run game to No. 1 Oklahoma City (1-2) and fell in its final game of the year in a record 18-inning affair against No. 20 Houston-Victoria… Runner-up at the GPAC tournament... Eight Tigers earned all-conference honors, including four on the first team... Received votes in final NAIA regular season poll.
East – Auburn University at Montgomery
Head Coach: Eric Newell
Assistant Coach: Scottie Wilkes
Volunteer Assistant: Cassie Jones
Record: 51-6 | 22-3 Southern States Athletic Conference
Advanced to the NAIA World Series looking for a third straight national championship… No. 2 ranked team and overall seed in tournament… Ranked No. 1 first four weeks… Tied for the SSAC regular season championship… Claimed first SSAC Tournament title… Won 15 of last 16 games, including all three, including two over No. 19 Central Methodist, in the NAIA Opening Round…. Garnered five all-conference honors, including three on the first team.
Great Lakes – St. Xavier University
Head Coach: Myra Minuskin
Assistant Coach: Erin Mollohan
Record: 44-8-1 | 20-2-1 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
No. 5 ranking and overall seed at NAIA World Series… Defeated No. 7 Simpson in opening round of World Series… As the No. 1 seed on the road, St. Xavier went 3-1 in the opening round of the tournament to advance to the World Series… Two of three wins came against host and No. 13 Georgia Gwinnett… CCAC regular season champions... CCAC tournament runner-up… Four first-team all-conference selections… Minuskin was selected CCAC Coach of the Year.
Midwest – Central Methodist University
Head Coach: Pat Reardon
Assistant Coaches: Gene Reardon, Ross Dowell, Steve Siebert
Graduate Assistants: Lyndsey Talbot, Neil Hansen, Sam Kircher
Record: 43-18 | 19-3 Heart of America Athletic Conference
Advanced to the opening round of the NAIA National Championships… Ranked 19th entering postseason… Posted a 2-2 mark in the opening round and reached the final, but fell to host and No. 2 Auburn Montgomery… Picked up two wins over University of Rio Grande… Pat Reardon named Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year… Regular season Heart of America champions.
Southwest – Oklahoma City University
Head Coach: Phil McSpadden
Assistant Coaches: Bobbi Bridges, Guy Cook, Harold Copas, Scott Gallagher
Record: 61-2 | 27-1 Sooner Athletic Conference
NAIA’s overall No. 1 seed… Has been nationally ranked No. 1 since the fifth poll of the season… Only program this season with 60-plus wins and only team to finish the regular season with 50-plus wins… Reached 50-win plateau last four seasons… Making its 28th appearance in the NAIA World Series… Sooner Athletic Conference regular season champions… Recorded two 29-game winning streaks this season.
West – Southern Oregon University
Head Coach: Jessica Pistole
Assistant Coaches: Taylor Keenen, Ernie Adams, Dan Crippen, Chris McKean, Duane Pardue
Record: 36-16 | 20-8 Cascade Collegiate Conference
Ranked 21st and earned an at-large bid into the postseason… In the NAIA Opening Round, Southern Oregon recorded a 1-2 mark as the No. 3 seed in the Lindsey Wilson bracket…First postseason appearance since a five-year run between 2002 and 2006… Dropped opener to Marian, but rebounded with an elimination game win over Ashford before being ousted by the top-seeded Blue Raiders… Garnered four NFCA All-West Region honors… CCC West Division regular season champs… Pistole named CCC Coach of the Year.