LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The eight programs that reached the Division II National Championships were selected by their peers as the 2016 NFCA Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association on Friday morning.
Representing each of the NFCA’s eight Division II regions, these respective coaching staffs – University of Charleston (Atlantic), Southern Arkansas (Central), Adelphi University (East), Grand Valley State (Midwest), North Alabama (South), West Texas A&M (South Central), Armstrong State (Southeast) and Humboldt State (West)- are now eligible for the NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year award.
The list includes national champions, North Alabama, runner-up Humboldt State and the only repeat regional winner, Adelphi.
Atlantic – University of Charleston
Head Coach: Raymond Loeser
Assistant Coach: Justine Kodesh
Record: 50-12 | 29-3 Mountain East
Advanced to the 2016 National Championships for the first time in program history... 5-3 postseason record... Won the Mountain East regular season and was the tournament runner-up... Earned two seed in region... Swept through regionals and took two-out-of-three on the road from top-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan to win Super Regional... Recorded a program-best 50 wins.
Central – Southern Arkansas University
Head Coach: Jason Anderson
Assistant Coach: Sage Woodham
Graduate Assistant: Christen Kirchner
Record: 50-12 | 29-3 Great American Conference
National semifinalist in first trip to Championships... Claimed the GAC tournament championship and second seed in the Central Region... One of three teams to sweep through regional and super regional play… Ended their postseason with a 7-2 record... After sweeping UCO and Missouri Western twice, the Muleriders went on the road and defeated No. 1 seed Arkansas Tech, 2-1 (8) and 4-1 in the Super Regionals... At the Championships, SAU defeated Charleston and then-No. 1 West Texas A&M, but suffered two losses to eventual national champion North Alabama... Program-record 53 wins... First national championship appearance for any SAU sport in its 20-year DII tenure.
East – Adelphi University
Head Coach: Bree Nasti
Associate Head Coach: Ophir Sadeh
Assistant Coaches: Monique Roberge & Victoria Wink
Record: 35-22 | 17-7 Northeast-10
Reached the National Championships for the second straight season and was the only back-to-back program to reach the final eight... Posted a 6-2 postseason record... Swept through regional and super regional play as the No. 3 seed… Recorded three shutouts and allowed just two runs over first five games of NCAA tournament ... Won opener at championships with a 10-4 triumph over Charleston... Dropped final two contests to eventual national champion North Alabama and semifinalist Armstrong State.
Midwest – Grand Valley State University
Head Coach: Dana Callahan
Assistant Coaches: Jen Rivera & Briauna Taylor
Record: 43-13 | 21-5 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
National Championships participant as the No. 4 seed out of the Midwest Region... Made third appearance at National Championships… Finished with a 6-3 postseason record, which included three true road wins over No. 1 seed Indianapolis and No. 3 seed Wayne State (twice)... Also defeated Trevecca Nazarene twice on final day of regionals to advance to supers where it swept then-No. 10 Wayne State in Detroit… Reached the NCAA tournament for six straight seasons.
South – University of North Alabama
Head Coach: Ashley Cozart
Assistant Coach: Whitney Hawkins
Record: 60-7 | 30-3 Gulf South Conference
Won the program's first National Championship defeating Humboldt State two-out-of-three in the championship series... Posted a 11-2 postseason record... Battled out of losers bracket in regional play after a day two loss to UAH... Following loss, UNA defeated Saint Leo (1-0) and UAH twice (7-0, 7-0) to win regional, swept Rollins in Super Regional and then won first three games at National Championships... After dropping the opening game of the Championship Series, the Lions swept Humboldt State on final day to claim title... Gulf South regular season and tournament champions... Program-record 60 wins... Ranked first, second or third in several offensive categories.
South Central – West Texas A&M University
Head Coach: Kevin Blaskowski
Associate Head Coach: Candace Abrams
Graduate Assistants: Rebekah Ragsdale & Jaime Edwards
Student Assistants: Tyler Wilkinson & Kaisha Dacosin
Record: 59-5 | 30-2 Lone Star Conference
Made second National Championships appearance in three years... Posted a 1-2 record at tournament and an overall 7-3 record in postseason play... Lone Star regular season and tournament champions... Set league record with 30-0 conference start... Won championships opener before dropping games to eventual runner-up Humboldt State and semifinalist Southern Arkansas... Used two walk-off 4-3 wins over Colorado Mesa on final day to win regional as No. 1 seed... Swept No. 2 seed St. Mary's to reach national championships... National leader or in top three in several offensive categories nationally.
Southeast – Armstrong State University
Head Coach: Ted Evans
Assistant Coach: Megen Conner
Record: 43-15 | 19-5 Peach Belt Conference
National semifinalists and third National Championships appearance overall... Posted an 8-3 postseason record... Swept through regional play as No. 2 seed... In Super Regionals, lost opener at No. 1 North Georgia (defending national champions) before winning the final two games (4-2, 5-3 in 8 inn.) to reach championships... After dropping opener to eventual runners-up Humboldt State, the Pirates reeled off three straight wins, including one against HSU forcing and "if necessary" game.
West – Humboldt State University
Head Coach: Shelli Sarchett
Assistant Coach: Alicia Reid
Record: 54-8-1 | 32-2 California Collegiate Athletic Association
DII National runner-up... CCAA regular season champions and West No. 1 overall seed... Swept through regional and Super Regional play... Only one of three teams to do so... Won first two games against, Armstrong State and then-No. 1 West Texas A&M, of the National Championships... Rebounded from its first postseason loss to Armstrong State by defeating the Pirates in the “if necessary” game to advance to the Championship Series... Won first game, 5-0 over North Alabama, but fell twice on the final day... Pitching staff posted the NCAA's seventh best ERA at 1.51.