LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eleven programs were honored by the NFCA as 2023 ATEC Division I Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association Thursday afternoon.
Representing each of the NFCA’s 10 Division I regions, these respective coaching staffs – University of Oklahoma (Central), Northwestern University (Great Lakes), George Mason University (Mid-Atlantic), Miami University (Mideast), Middle Tennessee State University (Mideast), Indiana University (Midwest), Boston University (Northeast), University of Utah (Pacific), McNeese State University (South), University of Tennessee (Southeast) and San Diego State University (West) – garnered Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
These 11 programs, along with the Division I national champion (if program is not a regional winner), are eligible for the NFCA’s ATEC Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year award, which will be announced on June 22. Regional (respective region only) and National Coaching Staffs of the Year are voted on by active member head coaches.
Central: University of Oklahoma
Head Coach: Patty Gasso
Associate Head Coach: Jennifer Rocha | Assistant Coach: JT Gasso | Volunteer Assistant: Hannah Sparks
Making fourth consecutive WCWS Championship Series appearance … Reached 60-win mark (60-1) for third time in program history with a game one win in the Championship series … Set NCAA Division I record for consecutive wins, which currently stands at 52 games … Top overall seed for NCAA Tournament for fourth straight season … Big 12 regular-season and tournament champions … Own Division I’s best batting batting average (.368), ERA (0.98) and fielding percentage (.988) … Batting average is 32 points higher and ERA is over a half run lower than the next program … Leads nation in doubles per game (1.88), home runs (115), home runs per game (1.92), on base percentage (.458), scoring (8.22) and slugging percentage (.672).
Great Lakes: Northwestern University
Head Coach: Kate Drohan | Associate Head Coach: Caryl Drohan | Assistant Coach: Michelle Gascoigne
Volunteer Assistant: Tony Smith
Big Ten regular-season and tournament champions … Finished with a 42-13 record, 20-3 in the Big 10 … No. 12 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament … Reached Super Regionals … Swept Evanston Regional and posted 4-2 mark in the postseason … Fell in three games at Tuscaloosa Super Regional.
Mid-Atlantic: George Mason University
Head Coach: Justin Walker
Assistant Coaches: Campbell Hutcherson, Dominique Travers
Made its NCAA tournament debut at the Durham Regional … Knocked off Loyola, 9-6, in the winner-take-all game to capture its first-ever Atlantic 10 tournament title … It marked the first championship game appearance for the Patriots … They made history as the lowest seed (4) to win the tournament since 1990 … Set numerous team and individual records … Posted new single-season marks for home runs, doubles, RBI, solen bases, walks and strikeouts … Finished season with a 35-22 record.
Mideast: Miami University (tie)
Head Coach: Kirin Kumar
Assistant Coaches: Morgan Zerkle, Courtney Vierstra
Regional finalist for the first time in program history … Posted a 2-2 mark at the Evanston Regional with wins over Eastern Illinois and Kentucky … Finished with 39-20 overall and 21-8 Mid-American Conference records … Won the MAC regular season and repeated as tournament champs … Ranked in the top 10 nationally in home runs (97 – 3rd), slugging (.578 – 3rd) and home run per game (1.62 (5th).
Mideast: Middle Tennessee State University (tie)
Head Coach: Jeff Breeden
Assistant Coaches: Tony Foti, Helen Peña
Regional finalist for first time in program history … Accumulated a program-record 42 wins (42-20) … Forced the winner-take-all game with a 4-1 victory over No. 5 seed Alabama … Finished with a 3-2 record at Tuscaloosa Regional, most wins for a Conference USA team in a NCAA regional since 2014 … Posted nine wins over top 25 teams … Topped North Texas for second C-USA Tournament title in program history.
Midwest: Indiana University
Head Coach: Shonda Stanton
Associate Head Coach: Chanda Bell | Assistant Coaches: Gabbi Jenkins, Grayson Radcliffe
Reached regional final … Posted 2-2 record as the No. 2 seed at the Knoxville Regional … Big Ten Tournament runner-up and finished second during the Big Ten regular season … Set single-season program records for RBI (374), home runs (81), hits (485), doubles (98) and batting average (.312) … Earned three NFCA All-America honors for the first time in program history.
Northeast: Boston University
Head Coach: Ashley Waters
Associate Head Coach: Becca Carden | Assistant Coach: Donna Friedman
Collected its fifth straight regular-season Patriot League title and won the 2023 tournament crown … Finished with 52-10 overall and 17-1 league records … Waters captured her third straight Patriot League Coach of the Year honor … Patriot and team record for wins … Charted single-season program records for winning streak (28), shutouts (24), batting average (.327), fielding percentage (.980), runs scored (341), hits (522), RBI (304), strikeouts (404) and triples (35 - tie) … Ranked second nationally in shutouts, fifth in batting average and sixth in fielding percentage.
Pacific: University of Utah
Head Coach: Amy Hogue
Associate Head Coach: DJ Gasso | Assistant Coach: Paige Parker | Volunteer Assistant: Brooke Olson
Reached Women’s College World Series for the first time since 1994 … Secured WCWS berth by topping San Diego State in the final two games of the Salt Lake City Super Regional … It is the program’s first super-regional series triumph … Finished with a 42-13 record, the highest win total since 2000 and only the fifth time to collect at least 42 wins in a season … Swept the Salt Lake City Regional with a wild 11-9 win over Southern Illinois and two over Ole Miss … Won first-ever Pac-12 tournament with title-game win over UCLA.
South: McNeese State University
Head Coach: James Landreneau
Associate Head Coach: Shellie Landry | Assistant Coach: Shelbi Sunseri | Volunteer Assistant: Cori McCrary
Second straight NCAA Regional final appearance … 3-2 record at Seattle Regional and forced winner-take-all with a 1-0 victory over No. 10 Washington … First Southland Conference (SLC) program to win three NCAA Tournament contests … Registered a program-record 47 wins (47-16) … Won second straight and ninth overall SLC regular season crown … Captured third consecutive SLC tournament and became first program to accomplish threepeat twice … Defeated LSU for the first time since 2014 and set home attendance record in process (1,488) … Won seven-of-eight conference series … Set single-season marks for shutouts (23), triples (17), fielding percentage (.978), fewest errors (42) and stolen base percentage (.855).
Southeast: University of Tennessee
Head Coach: Karen Weekly
Assistant Coaches: Chris Malveaux, Megan Rhodes Smith | Volunteer Assistant: Kate Malveaux
National semifinalist … As No. 4 seed, returned to Women’s College World Series for first time since 2015 and the semifinals since 2013 … 2-2 record at WCWS and 7-2 overall during NCAA postseason … Swept Knoxville Regional and Super Regional by a combined score of 42-6 … Posted wins in OKC over Alabama and Oklahoma State … Doubled up as SEC regular season and tournament champions, a first in program history … Defeated Florida, Alabama and South Carolina to win their first tourney crown since 2011 and third overall … Posted a 51-10 record, breaking 50-win mark for the first time since 2013 … Weekly was named SEC Coach of the Year.
West: San Diego State University
Head Coach: Stacy Nuveman Deniz
Associate Head Coach: Victoria Hayward | Assistant Coach: Kendall Fern | Volunteer Assistant: Delanie Wisz
Won the program’s first-ever regional title to earn a spot in their first super regional … Came out on top of the Los Angeles Regional with a perfect 3-0 mark, defeating Grand Canyon and Liberty twice … Only three seed to advance to super regionals … Picked up a win over No. 15 Utah before falling to the Utes in the Salt Lake City Super Regional … Won second straight Mountain West Tournament championship … Finished with a 39-17 record, third best in program history.
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaches polls and All-America awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to awards, to in-person events and National Convention.
ATEC/NFCA NCAA Division I Regional Coaching Staffs of Year