LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten programs were honored by the NFCA as 2021 Division I Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, the Association announced on Thursday afternoon.
Representing each of the NFCA’s 10 Division I regions, these respective coaching staffs – University of Oklahoma, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, Miami University, South Dakota State University, James Madison University, University of Washington, University of Arkansas, Duke University and UCLA – garnered Coaching Staff of the Year honors. These 10 programs are eligible for the NFCA’s Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year award, which will be announced on June 24.
NFCA Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year are voted by member Division I head coaches in each respective region. The voting window for this award was May 21 to June 2.
Overall: 55-4 | Big 12: 16-1
Head Coach: Patty Gasso
Associate Head Coach: Jennifer Rocha | Assistant Coach: JT Gasso | Volunteer Assistant: Erin Arevalo
Reached WCWS Championship Series … Fifth consecutive trip to WCWS and ninth in last 10 years … Top overall seed for NCAA Championships … Battled out of elimination bracket to reach Championship Series … Big 12 regular-season and tournament champions … Top offensive team in NCAA DI, leading the country in every major offensive category … Just one of two teams in the NCAA with 100-plus home runs, setting a NCAA single-season record with 159 … Won 35 games via run-rule, outscoring opponents by almost nine runs per game.
Great Lakes: Michigan
Overall: 38-8 | Big Ten: 36-6
Head Coach: Carol Hutchins | Associate Coach: Bonnie Tholl | Assistant Coach: Jennifer Brundage
Volunteer Assistant: Marybeth Dennison | Graduate Manager: Karlie Milburn
Big Ten regular-season champions and regional finalist … 2-2 at Seattle Regional, posting one win over host and No. 16 seed Washington … Appeared in its 26th straight and 28th overall NCAA Tournament … Third straight Big 10 title … Ranked No. 20 in final regular season USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll … Boasts lowest ERA in NCAA Division I … Hutchins was named Big Ten Coach of the Year … Alex Storako and Lexi Blair earned league Pitcher and Player of the Year honors.
Mid-Atlantic: Virginia Tech
Overall: 37-15 | Atlantic Coast Conference: 23-11
Head Coach: Pete D’Amour
Assistant Coaches: Doug Gillis, Mike Lewis | Volunteer Assistant: Andrew Stover
Reached NCAA Super Regionals and took No. 2 seed UCLA to three games … Swept Tempe Regional, defeated host and No. 15 seed Arizona State and BYU (twice) … Ranked 21st in final regular season USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll … Keely Rochard was named ACC Pitcher of the Year … Matched a program record with five All-ACC selections … D’Amour became the fastest coach in program history to reach 100 wins.
Mideast: Miami (Ohio)
Overall: 46-10 | Mid-American Conference: 36-2
Head Coach: Kirin Kumar
Assistant Coaches: Morgan Zerkle & Brandon Duncan | Director of Operations: Joe Forney
Mid-American Conference champions for second consecutive season … Earned automatic NCAA berth and fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament … Set program record for most wins and fewest losses in a season … Posted 21 run-rule victories and Miami pitchers recorded 19 shutouts … Kumar, first-year head coach, was named MAC Coach of the Year … Boasted most (nine) all-conference players in program history … Led the Mideast with five All-Region selections … Courtney Vierstra and Karli Spaid were named MAC Pitcher and Player of the Year.
Midwest: South Dakota State
Overall: 43-8 | The Summit League: 21-1
Head Coach: Krista Wood
Assistant Coaches: Kristi Villar & Kiki Stokes
Made first-ever NCAA DI postseason appearance … Won their NCAA DI tournament debut with a 7-1 victory over Stanford … Steered Jackrabbits to most successful season in program history … Matched program record for victories, reaching the 40-win plateau for only the second time … Only suffered back-to-back losses once all season and was shut out only once … Set program mark with 73 home runs … Wood was named Summit League Coach of the Year … Cylie Halvorson, Tori Kniesch and Grace Glanzer were named Player, Pitcher and Freshman of the Year.
Northeast: James Madison
Overall: 41-4 | Colonial Athletic Association: 17-1
Head Coach: Loren LaPorte
Associate Head Coach: Jennifer Herzig | Assistant Coach: Libby Morris
Volunteer Assistant: Derek Sauder
National semifinalist … First unseeded program to win first two games and reach semifinals at WCWS … Posted 7-3 mark during postseason run all away from home … 2-2 at WCWS with wins over No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 5 Oklahoma State … Topped No. 8 Missouri 2-1 in the Columbia Super Regional … Swept the Knoxville Regional as No. 3 seed with wins over No. 9 Tennessee and nationally-ranked Liberty (twice) … Lost one game during the regular season … Won CAA regular season and tournament titles.
Overall: 45-14 | Pac-12: 18-5
Head Coach: Heather Tarr
Assistant Coaches: J.T. D’Amico, Lance Glasoe | Volunteer Assistant: Whitney Jones
Super Regional participant for fifth straight season and 11th time in the last 12 … Hosted NCAA Regional as No. 16 seed … Rallied with two wins on final day against No. 20 Michigan to win Seattle Regional … Heather Tarr recorded 700th career win in regular-season finale versus Stanford … Gabbie Plain was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year … Ranked in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll top five all season.
Overall: 43-11 | Southeastern Conference: 19-5
Head Coach: Courtney Deifel
Assistant Coaches: Yolanda McCrae & Matt Meuchel | Volunteer Assistant: Annie Smith
Super Regional participant for second straight season, hosting for the first time in program history … Swept through Fayetteville Regional as No. 6 overall seed … SEC Regular Season Co-Champions, first league title for the program … First program outside of Florida or Alabama to win SEC regular season since 2007 … Started 12-0 in SEC play for first time in program history and swept five league series … Garnered program’s first two first-team NFCA All-Americans … Reached as high as No. 5 (highest for program) in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top-25 Coaches Poll.
Overall: 44-12 | Atlantic Coast Conference: 26-10
Head Coach: Marissa Young
Assistant Coaches: Josh Bloomer & Jessica Bracamonte | Volunteer Assistant: Nicole Schaffer
Qualified for first-ever NCAA postseason, earned the No. 13 overall seed and was the top seed in the Athens Regional … Regional finalist, posting a 2-2 record … Captured first ACC title with a 1-0 win over Clemson in league championship game … Smashed program record for wins and also set team marks in several offensive and pitching categories … Nationally ranked all season, climbing as high as 11th in the USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll … Young captured her 100th career victory on March 20 … Deja Davis became the program’s first NFCA All-American.
Overall: 47-7 | Pac-12: 19-2
Head Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez
Assistant Coaches: Lisa Fernandez, Kirk Walker | Volunteer Assistant: Don Slaught
Made sixth-straight appearance and 30th overall at the WCWS … Swept through Los Angeles Regional as No. 2 overall seed … Rallied from a game-one loss to Virginia Tech to win sixth straight Super Regional … Won 11th Pac-12 title and their first solo championship since 2009 … Inouye-Perez was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year and Rachel Garcia earned Player of the Year honors … Owned 13 and 14-game win streaks in 2021 … Ranked top four nationally all year, including second since March 16 USA Today/NFCA DI Top 25 Coaches Poll.