2024 atec/nfca di regional coaching staff of the year, nfca, atec, nfca regional coaching staff of the year, university of texas, boston university, villanova university, university of oregon, ucla, duke university, oklahoma state university, university of virginia, university of michigan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten programs were recognized by their peers as 2024 ATEC/NFCA Division I Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association Monday.

Representing each of the NFCA’s 10 Division I regions, these respective coaching staffs – University of Texas (Central), University of Michigan (Great Lakes), University of Virginia (Mid-Atlantic), Villanova University (Mideast), Oklahoma State University (Midwest), Boston University (Northeast), University of Oregon (Pacific), Texas State University (South), Duke University (Southeast) and University of California, Los Angeles (West)  – garnered Coaching Staff of the Year honors. These 10 programs, along with national champion University of Oklahoma, are eligible for the NFCA’s Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year award, which will be announced on June 20.

Regional (respective region only) and National Coaching Staffs of the Year are voted on by active member head coaches.

Central: University of Texas

Head Coach: Mike White

Associate Head Coach: Steve Singleton | Assistant Coaches: Kristen Zaleski, Pattie Ruth Taylor

Second national runner-up finish in last three seasons … Held No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll the last five weeks of the regular season … Finished 3-2 at the Women’s College World Series and 8-3 in the postseason … First team since 2007 to open WCWS with three consecutive shutouts … Posted a 55-10 record and won the Big 12 regular season outright for the first time since 2010 … Set a program record for victories and is the third team to reach the 50-win plateau.

Great Lakes: University of Michigan

Head Coach: Bonnie Tholl | Associate Head Coach: Jennifer Brundage | Assistant Coaches: Amanda Chidester, Faith Canfield

Regional finalist going 2-2 at the Stillwater Regional with wins over Kentucky and Northern Colorado … Captured 11th Big Ten Tournament title as No. 2 seed … Finished 2024 with a 43-18 overall and 18-5 Big Ten record … First 40-win season since 2019.

Mid-Atlantic: University of Virginia

Head Coach: Joanna Hardin | Associate Head Coach: Jeff Tylka | Assistant Coaches: Jamie Allred, Bella Norton

Regional finalist going 2-2 at Knoxville Regional and posting a pair of wins against Miami (Ohio) … It marked the first regional final for the Cavaliers and second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance … Finished 34-20 overall, 15-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference … Most wins since 2004 when team won 38 contests. 

Mideast: Villanova University

Head Coach: Bridget Orchard | Associate Head Coach: Gabby Luety | Assistant Coach: Grace Fagan

Regional finalist for the first time in program history … Posted 2-2 mark at Fayetteville Regional, picking up wins over Southeast Missouri State and host Arkansas … Captured the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles … It marked the third tourney crown in the last four seasons … Set program record with 19 conference wins and earned tournament top seed for the first time … Finished 2024 with a 33-24 record.

Midwest: Oklahoma State University

Head Coach: Kenny Gajewski | Assistant Coaches: Vanessa Shippy-Fletcher, Carrie Eberle, Stacy Pestrak

Advanced to fifth consecutive WCWS … Finished 5-2 during the NCAA postseason … Swept Stillwater Regional and Super Regional … Owned consistent top-10 ranking all season in NFCA’s Top 25, peaking at No. 3 … Finished 49-12 overall and 21-6 in Big 12 play … Won regular-season series against top two teams in the Big 12, Texas and Oklahoma … 24-1 at home. 

Northeast: Boston University

Head Coach: Ashley Waters | Associate Head Coach: Becca Carden | Assistant Coach: Allie Brewster

Collected its sixth straight regular-season Patriot League title and won second consecutive tourney crown … Eclipsed last year’s win total of 52 to set new single-season program and Patriot League record (53-6-1) … 1-2 at Norman Regional, earning a win over Cleveland State … Undefeated at home (20-0-1) … Undefeated over final 25 games of the regular season (24-0-1) … Ranked in the NFCA’s Top 25 since March 11.

Pacific: University of Oregon

Head Coach: Melyssa Lombardi | Associate Head Coach: Sam Marder

Assistant Coaches: Sydney Romero, Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza

Regional finalist at the Norman Regional … Posted a 2-2 mark with two victories over Boston University … Nationally ranked for the majority of the 2024 season … Posted a 4-2 mark at the 2024 NFCA Leadoff Classic … Finished 30-21 overall and 13-10 in Pac-12 play.

South: Texas State University

Head Coach: Ricci Woodard | Assistant Coaches: Scott Woodard, Josh Trevino, Peejay Brun

Reached the College Station Regional final … Posted two wins over Penn State during regionals … Captured the Sun Belt Conference tournament, their second in program history … Notched 47 wins, the second best win total in program history and the sixth team to reach the 40-win mark … Owned a top-25 RPI and was ranked in the NFCA’s Top 25 twice during the regular season. 

Southeast: Duke University

Head Coach: Marissa Young | Assistant Coaches: Olivia Watkins, Taylor Wike, Bryan Jones
Student Assistants: Kennedy Barron, Deja Davis 

Made first-ever WCWS appearance in the program’s seventh season of collegiate softball … No. 10 national seed and finished 5-3 during postseason … Swept Durham Regional and went on road taking two of three from No. 7 seed Missouri to advance to WCWS … Captured Duke’s first-ever ACC regular-season title and second tournament crown … School-record 52 wins (52-9) and registered a 20-4 ACC mark … Ranked in the NFCA poll’s top 10 all regular season and peaked as high as No. 2 on April 2 and earned 10 first-place votes on April 9.

West: UCLA

Head Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez | Associate Head Coach: Lisa Fernandez | Assistant Coaches: Kirk Walker, Rob Schweyer

Punched ticket to 32nd Women’s College World Series, the most of any collegiate program … As the No. 6 seed, swept through regional and super regional play, posting a 6-2 mark in the postseason … 1-2 at the WCWS, picking up a win over Alabama … Collected the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles … Notched 43-12 overall and 17-4 conference records … Ranked in the NFCA’s top 10 since April 23.

The NFCA is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded awards program, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to and extensive drills database, to in-person events and National Convention

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining our lineup of over 7,000 coaches today!

ATEC/NFCA NCAA DI Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year

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