LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Five programs were selected by their peers as the 2018 NFCA Travel Ball Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association on Tuesday afternoon.
Representing each of the NFCA’s five Travel Ball regions, these respective coaching staffs – West Virginia Legends 18U (East), Premier Fastpitch (Ill.) Paulson 16U (North), Tennessee Mojo 2023 (South), Iowa Premier Black - KC (South Central) and The Factory (Calif.) 16U Black (West)- are now eligible for the NFCA's National Coaching Staff of the Year award. It marks the second consecutive year that the Legends and Mojo organizations have garnered recognition.
East – West Virginia Legends 18U
Head Coach: Robert Brown
Assistants: Randy Smith, Ed Riffle
Placed third at TopGun World Series… Collected three tournament victories in 2018. “To have an entire team be able to move on to the next level from a small town like ours is rare,” said Robert Brown. “These young ladies have played together for years and took their fair share of bumps and bruises in the beginning. It is their accomplishments on and off the field, that have given our staff the ability to be awarded this honor.”
North – Premier Fastpitch (Ill.) Paulson 16U
Co-Head Coaches: Dan and Kristi Paulson
Compiled a 58-31 overall record… Won the Illinois USA A State tournament and earned top ten finishes at Louisville Slugger Invite 18U (2nd), PGF Louisville Slugger National Qualifier (3rd), PGF Crown Point National Qualifier (3rd), PGF Premier Nationals (9th) and USA Junior Olympic Cup (9th)… Ranked 11th in Fastpitch News for 16U and 26th in Triple Crown Sports’ (TPS) final US Club rankings… Earned 12th at TCS Nationals and 17th at Colorado Fireworks… Also qualified for USA Gold Nationals and USA A Nationals.
South – Tennessee Mojo 2023
Head Coach: Michael Danley
Assistants: Richie Davis, John Hawkes, Martin Roman, Brian Sailor
Defeated Diamond Sports Hotshots, 1-0, to win the 2018 PGF 12U Premier Nationals… Three players earned PGF Premier all-tournament honors, including MVP… Finished tied for second in final TPS 12U US Club Rankings... Earned a third-place finish at 2018 World Fastpitch Championship. “These girls are extremely motivated, dedicated, and work hard individually on their skills,” said Michael Danley.
South Central – Iowa Premier Black – KC
Co-Head Coaches: Greg Dickel, Kevin Christensen
Assistants: Shane Dodge, Jeremy Kroll, Kevin Stephens
Garnered the distinction of most successful Iowa-based travel ball club team in history with a 132-24-5 record in 2017-18... Won 12 of 22 tournaments it appeared in and collected six more top three finishes… Won the USSSA 15U Midwest National Championship with a perfect 9-0 mark and outscored their opponents, 113-8… Posted third at the USA Elite Select World Fastpitch Championship, fifth at Tulsa Elite, ninth at PGF Nationals (14U) – Premier Division and 20th at Colorado Junior Sparkler… Currently ranked No. 1 in the USA Elite power rankings and eighth in Fastpitch News.
West – The Factory 16U Black - Patrick (Calif.)
Head Coach: Patrick O’Rielly
Won the Surf City Summer Kick-Off… Posted a second-place finish at the Championship Cup, tied for ninth at USA Prep Nationals and tied for 17th at PGF Premier Nationals… Team has grown off the field in the classroom, combining for a 3.75 GPA.