LOUISVILLE, Ky. – National champion University of Texas at Tyler was the pick of its peers as the 2016 NFCA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Wednesday.
Head coach Mike Reed and assistants Whitney Wyly, Coby Gipson, Christa Hartnett and Anthony Springer had previously been selected for their second straight NFCA Division III West Region Coaching Staff of the Year award on June 7.
Texas-Tyler (49-5) captured its first-ever Division III title after finishing second in the nation to three-time reigning titlist Tufts in the finals last season. The Patriots captured the NFCA Leadoff Classic in March at the South Commons Complex in Columbus, Ga., and had little trouble the rest of the way in returning to Salem’s James I. Moyer Sports Complex for some unfinished business.
They buzzed undefeated (29-0) through the American Southwest Conference, and only lost twice to Belhaven — which is transitioning to Division III from the NAIA — and twice in two days to East Texas Baptist in the ASC Tournament, including in the championship game. The Patriots hosted and won both the NCAA Regional and Super Regional titles and dropped one game — to St. John Fisher — during their 5-1 run to the title in Salem.
The other seven NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year winners in Division III this season were national runner-up Messiah College (East), Emory (Atlantic), Trine University (Central), Illinois Wesleyan (Great Lakes), University of St. Thomas (Midwest), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (New England) and St. John Fisher College (Northeast). Trine, which lost to Midwest honoree St. Thomas in the Super Regionals, was the lone regional honoree that wasn’t among the final eight teams that reached the NCAA Division III Championship in Salem, Va.
Tufts University won three straight NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year awards from 2013-15.