LOUISVILLE, Ky. – National champion Temple College, runner-up Chipola, and Howard were voted the winners of the 2018 NFCA National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honors, the Association revealed on Tuesday.
Head coach Kristen Zaleski and assistant coaches Maurice Zaleski, Jaymie Collins, Paige Williams and Patrick Grant led Midwest Region honoree Temple to a 47-8 record and its first NJCAA national championship this season. The No. 3-seeded Leopards were at their best late in the season, going 5-1 at the national championship in St. George, Utah, where they knocked off the two teams that won the last three national titles.
Temple tripped 2015 titlist Chipola, 6-1, in the winner-take-all championship on May 19, after defeating two-time defending champ Butler, 5-3, in the semifinals the previous day.
Chipola took South Region accolades after earning the No. 2 seed for the national championship and coming within a win of their second title in the past four seasons. Head coach Belinda Hendrix, associate head coach Jimmy Hendrix and assistant Kelly Brookins led the Indians to a 56-4 mark and dealt champion Temple its lone loss at the finals to force a second championship game.
Before losing in the Division I finale, Chipola had won six straight games in the postseason.
West Region recipient Howard was the No. 9 seed for nationals after winning the Region V West title for the fourth straight season. The Hawks went 42-9-1 and were eliminated by eventual national runner-up Chipola, 3-1, on May 17 at the Canyons Complex.
Howard had four separate win streaks of seven of more games in 2018 under the leadership of head coach Kelly Raines and assistant Shelby Shelton, including 14 consecutive victories from Feb. 24-March 30 and 11 straight triumphs from April 20-May 6.
The NFCA NJCAA Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year will be announced on June 8.