LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three highly successful programs earned 2016 NFCA NJCAA Division I Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honors, the Association revealed on Wednesday.
Butler Community College was voted by its NFCA peers as the top team in the West Region, while Chipola College earned South Region accolades and Tyler Junior College garnered recognition in the Midwest Region.
In the West, it’s hard to believe — or remember — that the Grizzlies lost three straight games in February, since they reeled off 38 consecutive victories in March, April and May en route to a 53-4 record and their first NJCAA Division I national championship. The staff of head coach Doug Chance and assistants Zach Sigler and Jeff Filali did a masterful job managing a group that went 25-0 at home and 23-1 in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play this season to earn a No. 4 seed in the national tournament at the Canyons Complex in in St. George, Utah. At nationals, Butler beat two-time defending NJCAA Division I champ and fellow regional Coaching Staff of the Year honoree Chipola two straight games to claim the crown for themselves.
Meanwhile, head coach Belinda Hendrix guided Chipola to its third straight NJCAA Division I championship game in 2016, but the result wasn’t the same as its first two trips. A 49-15 record, three win streaks or seven or more games and a national runner-up finish after earned the No. 3 tournament seed were more than enough to earn South Region recognition, though.
In the Midwest, Tyler went 60-6 and earned the No. 1 seed for the NJCAA Division I national tournament, but lost its second game and then was edged by one run by eventual third-place finisher Salt Lake Community College in the loser’s bracket semifinals at the nationals. Head coach Nicole Dickson and assistant Audrey Farfan led the Apaches to lengthy win streaks of 16 and 36 games, respectively, before finishing up 3-2 at nationals.
The NFCA NJCAA Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year will be announced on June 10.