LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fourteen highly successful programs were honored by the NFCA as Division I Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association Monday afternoon. Five Women’s College World Series participants were chosen by their respective regions, including Central Region winner and National Champion, Oklahoma.
Oklahoma captured its second straight National Championship after sweeping Florida in a WCWS championship series that featured an epic 17-inning game one, the longest contest in finals history. The Sooners rebounded from a regional-opening loss to North Dakota State to win their final 11 games of the postseason, including four elimination contest in the Norman Regional.
Representing each of the NFCA’s 10 Division I regions, these respective coaching staffs are now eligible for the NFCA’s National Coaching Staff of the Year award, which will be announced on June 28. There were three ties this year in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific (three-way).
Central – Oklahoma
Overall: 61-9 Big-12: 17-1
Head Coach: Patty Gasso
Associate Head Coach: Melyssa Lombardi
Assistant Coach: JT Gasso
Volunteer Assistant Coach: Andrea Gasso
Captured program’s second straight national championship and third in five years… Big 12 regular season and tournament champions… After dropping regional opener, won 11 straight contests, including four elimination games in Norman Regional… No. 10 overall national seed… No. 1 in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll… Swept Super Regional at Auburn… Fourth straight NFCA Central Region CSOY award.
Great Lakes – Minnesota
Overall: 56-5 Big-10: 21-1
Head Coach: Jessica Allister
Associate Head Coach: Jessica Merchant
Pitching Coach: Piper Ritter
Director of Operations: Michael Kyllo-Kittleson
Finished 2017 with the best winning percentage amongst Division I programs (.918)… Entered postseason with most victories in Division I… Ranked No. 1 in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll of the regular season… Big Ten regular season and tournament champions… Enjoyed a record-breaking season, setting program record for victories, fewest losses, winning percentage, winning streak (26 games) and winning streak to start a season (19-0)… First time ranked in the top-10 of the national polls… Started the season 30-3 before playing first home game.
Mid Atlantic – Notre Dame
Overall: 43-13 ACC: 13-11
Head Coach – Deanna Gumpf
Associate Coaches: Kris Ganeff, Lizzy Ristano
Volunteer Assistant Coach: Jamie Spitale
Director of Operations: Kasey O’Connor
Nineteenth straight NCAA tournament appearance… 1-2 at the Auburn Regional… ACC semifinal appearance… Posted 4-1 mark at Mary Nutter Classic, highlighted by win over then-No. 8 UCLA… Swept Citrus and FGCU Four Points By Sheraton Spring Break Classics… Gumpf collected win No. 600 on Feb. 26.
Mid Atlantic – Fordham
Overall: 46-17 Atlantic-10: 18-5
Head Coach – Bridget Orchard
Assistant Coaches: Charisse Mariconda & Gabby Luety
Swept Atlantic-10 regular season and tournament titles… Won its fifth straight tournament championship… Fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance… Posted 1-2 mark at Salt Lake City Regional, picking up a win over Mississippi State… Matched program record with 18 conference victories… 46 wins are the second most in program history.
Mideast – Marshall
Overall: 42-12 Conference USA: 20-4
Head Coach: Shonda Stanton
Associate Head Coach: Kendall Fearn
Pitching Coach: Chanda Bell
Student Assistant: Rebecca Myslenski
Conference USA regular season champions… Earned at-large bid into NCAA Tournament and posted 1-2 record at Lexington Regional… Won a program-record 42 games… Ranked No. 24 in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll.
Midwest – Oklahoma State
Overall: 38-25 Big 12: 12-6
Head Coaches: Kenny Gajewski
Assistant Coach: Stacie Pestrak
Volunteer Assistant Coach: Mike Viramontez
Director of Operations: Jeff Cottrill
Made second straight NCAA Tournament appearance… Recorded a 3-2 postseason record and knocked off No. 1 overall seed Florida to force an “if necessary” game in the Gainesville Regional… The win over the Gators marked just the third time in program history the Cowgirls defeated the top-ranked team in the country… Collected the most wins since 2011 and most Big 12 wins since 2010, a six-game improvement in league play from 2016.
Northeast – James Madison
Overall: 52-8 CAA: 18-2
Head Coach: Mickey Dean
Assistant Coaches: Loren LaPorte, Jennifer Herzig
Swept CAA regular season and tournament titles… Fourth straight regional appearance… Waco Regional finalist… Finished season ranked 18th in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll… Set program record with 52 wins... Played first 30 games away from home, posting 26-4 record.
Pacific – Oregon
Overall: 54-8 Pac-12: 17-6
Head Coach: Mike White
Assistant Coaches: Jimmy Kolaitis, Chelsea Spencer
Volunteer Assistant: Kailee Cuico
Student Assistant Coach: Geri Ann Glasco
Director of Operations: Jessica Kirby
National semifinalist… Ranked fourth in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll… No. 3 overall national seed… Posted a 7-2 postseason record, sweeping through regionals and super regionals… Won a pair of elimination games over Baylor and LSU to reach semifinals… Matched NCAA record for best undefeated start (35-0) to a season.
Pacific – Washington
Overall: 50-14 Pac-12: 16-8
Head Coach: Heather Tarr
Assistant Coaches: Mike Roberts, J.T. D’Amico, Lance Glasoe
Director of Operations: Amy Lefurgy
National semifinalist… No. 6 overall national seed… Posted a 7-3 postseason record… Swept through Seattle Regional and knocked off No. 11 seed Utah in a best-of-three Super Regional to reach WCWS… Reached the 50-win plateau for the first time since 2010 and first WCWS semifinal since 2013… Ranked third in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll.
Pacific – Utah
Overall: 37-16 Pac-12: 13-9
Head Coach: Amy Hogue
Associate Head Coach: Maggie Livreri
Assistant Coach: Cody Thomson
Volunteer Assistant: Russ Paskins
No. 11 overall national seed… NCAA Super Regional participant… Swept through Salt Lake City Regional… Ranked 14th in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll, the highest finish in program history… Third straight NCAA Tournament berth and second consecutive Super Regional appearance… Matched program mark with five NFCA All-Region selections… Hosted first NCAA Regional.
South – Texas A&M
Overall: 47-13 SEC: 17-8
Head Coach: Jo Evans
Associate Head Coaches: Joy Jackson, Gerry Glasco
Volunteer Pitching Coach: Kara Dill
Director of Operations: Cassie Green
WCWS participant… NCAA’s No. 9 overall seed… Ranked eighth in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll… Swept through College Station Regional… After dropping opening game, the Aggies won final two contests of Super Regional at No. 8 seed Tennessee... Advanced to first WCWS since 2008… Reached the 40-win mark for the sixth time in eight seasons… 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament experience.
South – Ole Miss
Overall: 43-20 SEC: 10-14
Head Coach: Mike Smith
Assistant Coaches: Taryne Mowatt, Ruben Felix
Volunteer Assistant: Katie Rietkovich
Director of Operations: Jody Davidson
NCAA’s No. 12 overall seed… Super Regional participant, dropping two highly contested one-run games at No. 5 seed UCLA…Won first-ever SEC Tournament title, which included wins over Florida, Alabama and LSU… Hosted first NCAA Regional, sweeping Southern Illinois, Arizona State and North Carolina… Ranked 16th in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll… School-record 43 wins.
Southeast – Florida
Overall: 58-10 SEC: 20-3
Head Coach: Tim Walton
Assistant Coaches: Jennifer Rocha, Sharonda McDonald
Volunteer Assistant: Cody Dent
National runner-up… Third WCWS champions series appearance in four years… Won first three WCWS games before falling in a pair of hard-fought contests to Oklahoma, including an epic 17-inning game one.. SEC regular season champions for third straight season, the first in league history to do so… Ranked second in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll… Ranked No. 1 for five weeks and in the top three since the second regular season poll of the season... Set program record with 40 shutouts.
West – Arizona
Overall: 52-9 Pac-12: 18-6
Head Coach: Mike Candrea
Associate Head Coach: Stacy Iveson
Assistant Coach: Caitlin Lowe
Undergraduate Assistant Coach: Chelsea Goodacre
Super Regional participant… NCAA’s No. 2 overall seed… Swept through regionals before falling in three games to 15 seed Baylor in a nail biting three-game Super Regional… Won 11th Pac-12 championship, first since 2007… First 50-win season since 2004 when they won 53… In the regionals, the Wildcats outscored their opponents 25-0… Candrea became the first coach in NCAA softball history to reach 1,500 Division I wins and is currently second overall in NCAA victories… Ranked ninth in final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Coaches Poll.