LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten programs were selected by their peers as 2022 NFCA Division III Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honorees, the Association announced on Tuesday.
The 10 schools — Tufts (Region I), Eastern Connecticut State (Region II), SUNY Geneseo (Region III), Kean (Region IV), Susquehanna (Region V), Christopher Newport (Region VI), Case Western Reserve (Region VII), Millikin (Region VIII), Bethel (Region IX) and Texas Lutheran (Region X) — move forward to consideration for NFCA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year, which will be announced on June 14.
Of that group, all 10 played in the NCAA Tournament and seven advanced to Super Regionals. Four of the 10 reached the NCAA Division III Finals in Salem, Va.
Region I – Tufts (36-12)
Head Coach: Lauren Ebstein
Assistant Coaches: Marly Becker, Hannah Leahy, Kristina Haghdan
Reached NCAA Worcester Super Regional … Won 16 of last 19 games, including six of nine games in the postseason … Won 10 straight to close regular season … Finished season ranked tied for 23rd nationally.
Region II – Eastern Connecticut State (44-7)
Head Coach: Diana Pepin
Assistant Coach: Mark Correia
Volunteer Assistants: Tom Madera, Dawn Brolin
Student Assistant: Joe Banas
Tied for fifth at NCAA Finals … Won Little East, NCAA Union Regional and NCAA Mansfield Super Regional crowns … Went 10-3 in postseason … Finished season ranked sixth nationally.
Region III – SUNY Geneseo (34-6)
Head Coach: David Sylvester
Assistant Coaches: Martha Martin
Won SUNYAC title … Reached NCAA Geneseo Regional … Won 30 of 33 games, at one point, including 13 straight … Went 28-4 to close season.
Region IV – Kean (32-10)
Head Coach: Margie Acker
Assistant Coaches: Chrissy Yard, Emily Sabo
Graduate Assistant: Maddie Carlson
Reached NCAA Union Regional … Went 15-3 in April … Had five win streaks of at least four games each … Twice won season-best six games.
Region V – Susquehanna (28-9)
Head Coach: Brad Posner
Assistant Coaches: Bri Burger, Tammy Beers Franklin, Bryan Koch, Heather Pearson, Wayne Stine
Won Landmark Conference … Reached NCAA Ashland Regional … Won 24 of final 29 games … Went 11-1 in conference play … Won 20 of 24 to close the regular season.
Region VI – Christopher Newport (47-1)
Head Coach: Keith Parr
Assistant Coaches: Savannah Couch, Wayne Vick, Mary Kennedy
Won school’s first softball national championship … Went perfect 12-0 in postseason, including 5-0 at NCAA Finals site … Captured Coast-to-Coast Conference, NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional crowns, all at Captains Park … Finished season ranked first nationally.
Region VII – Case Western Reserve (30-12)
Head Coach: Josie Henry
Assistant Coaches: Julie Pratt, Ashley Parello, Melissa Cuellar, Nicole Doyle, Sidney Brannam, Hope Yashnik
Won NCAA Cleveland Regional … Lost to eventual national runner-up Trine in NCAA Angola Super Regional … Went 19-2 at home … Went 25-3 during stretch in which they had three separate win streaks of at least seven games … Finished season ranked 13th nationally.
Region VIII – Millikin (37-9)
Co-Head Coaches: Whitney Sowers and Katie Tenboer
Assistant Coach: Martin Stupek
Tied for seventh at NCAA Finals, making school’s first-ever appearance there … Went 20-2 at home, including winning NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional crowns there … Won 19 of first 21 games … Finished season ranked ninth nationally.
Region IX – Bethel (37-7)
Head Coach: Penny Foore
Assistant Coaches: Roman Foore, Dale Stapf, Maddie Bomsta
Reached Mount Berry Super Regional … Went 10-2 away from home … Won MIAC and NCAA St. Paul Regional titles … Finished season ranked tied for 10th nationally.
Region X – Texas Lutheran (45-6)
Head Coach: Wade Wilson
Assistant Coaches: Olivia Van Hook, Ed Zarzabal, James Fuqua, Scott Smith
Tied for third at NCAA Finals … Won SCAC title and NCAA Regional and Super Regional crowns … Won 26 straight during one stretch … Went 17-2 at home and 13-1 on road … Finished season ranked third nationally.
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaching awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from webinars to legal counsel, to in-person events and the National Convention.