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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The accolades keep rolling in for national champion East Texas Baptist University, which was voted 2024 ATEC/NFCA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Under the direction of head coach Janae Shirley, associate head coach and NFCA Hall of Famer Bill Galloway, assistant coaches Jeanette Galvan and Guy Shirley, and graduate assistant Hannah Garcia, the Tigers went 48-3 and finished the season ranked No. 1 in the NFCA Division III Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The Tigers defeated Belhaven twice to close the best-of-three NCAA Division III championship series last week, after the Blazers had dealt East Texas Baptist its first loss all season on its home field, 4-3, in the opening game of the series. It was also the first loss suffered anywhere by the Tigers over a two-month span, and snapped the team’s 23-game win streak.

This was the second national championship for East Texas Baptist, which also won the 2010 crown in Shirley’s third season as head coach.

This is the second NCAA title this season for someone who has led the Tiger program. Shirley’s head coach her first season as a player at East Texas Baptist was Mike Reed, who went on to be an in-state conference rival of Shirley and the Tigers for years at UT Tyler before the school changed NCAA divisions. Reed led the Patriots to their first Division II national championship in May, and the program was named the 2024 ATEC/NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year last week.

Three of this year’s 10 ATEC/NFCA Division III Regional Coaching Staff of the Year recipients — Rowan (Region IV), Virginia Wesleyan (Region VI) and Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Region VIII) — advanced to the eight-team NCAA Division III World Series at Bell Park at Taylor Field on the East Texas Baptist campus. The other seven regional honorees were Husson University (Region I), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Region II), the University of Rochester (Region III), Eastern University (Region V), Trine University (Region VII), Central College (Region IX) and Texas Lutheran University (Region X).

Regional (respective region only) and National Coaching Staffs of the Year are voted on by member head coaches. Shirley and her coaching staff will be recognized during the NFCA Convention’s Awards Brunch on Dec. 7 in Dallas, Texas.

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

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ATEC/NFCA Division III National Softball Coaching Staff of the Year

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