LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three highly successful programs earned 2016 NFCA NJCAA Division II Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honors, the Association revealed on Tuesday.
Lansing Community College was voted by its NFCA peers as the top team in the East Region, while Kirkwood Community College earned Midwest Region accolades and Jones County Junior College garnered recognition in the South Region.
In the East, the Stars went 40-19, captured their first Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference crown since 2009 and advanced to the NJCAA Division II Championship in Clinton, Miss. It was the first conference title for head coach Marc Kibby and assistants Carl Chafee, Janet Hengesbach and Tom Smith.
For winning his first championship, Kibby was named MCCAA Western Conference Coach of the Year. Lansing ranked fifth nationally in shutouts (17), sixth in extra-base hits (211), seventh in homers (75) and eighth in doubles (124) this season.
Kirkwood scored Midwest honors on the strength of a 58-6 season, which included a No. 2 seed and fifth-place finish at the NJCAA Division II Championship. The Eagles, led by head coach Joe Yegge and assistant coaches Jenny Nelson and Kristen Winter, finished ranked first nationally in runs (677), hits (801) and runs batted in (641) and in the top 10 in 15 other statistical categories this season.
In the South, Jones County finished runner-up to LSU Eunice at the NJCAA Division II Championship, but dealt the Bengals three of their eight losses this season, including two in winning its first Region 23 title and the other in the national tournament. The Bobcats’ staff of head coach Chris Robinson, associate head coach Bob Herrington and assistant coach Carlos Castro led their team to 21 straight victories before falling 4-2 to LSU Eunice in the national semifinals.
Jones County rebounded to eliminate Kankakee Community College, 9-6, before beating LSU Eunice, 9-0, to force a second winner-take-all national championship game that the Bengals won, 12-4.
The NFCA NJCAA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year will be announced on June 14.