University of Mobile head coach Vincent Dima and assistant Maria Soto have been named the 2006 Speedline/NFCA NAIA Coaching Staff of the Year, the association announced Thursday.
Dima and Soto will be honored in December at the 2006 NFCA National Convention in Tucson, Ariz.
Dima, in his first year guiding the program, led the Rams to the school’s first softball national championship with a win over California Baptist in the title game.
The winning team at the NFCA NAIA Leadoff Classic in March, Mobile worked its way to a school-record 50-2 mark.
Dima and Soto were also named the East Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Other regional winners were as follows:
West — California Baptist University
Head Coach — Mike Smith
Assistant Coaches — Bill Baber, Shelly Carter, Sarah Hughes, Anne Marie Miller
Last year’s national staff of the year, California Baptist finished runner-up to Mobile at the NAIA national tournament. The Lancers finished the season with a 51-2 record, having both losses come in the national tournament to the eventual national champions.
Midwest — Grand View College
Head Coach — Lou Yacinich
Assistant Coaches — Jeff Cup and Alexis Angier
Yacinich and the Vikings coaching staff led Grand View to a 34-24 final record that culminated in a trip to the NAIA national tournament. The Vikings won the NAIA Region VII tournament with a victory over top-seeded St. Xavier (Ill.).
Great Lakes — Cornerstone University
Head Coach — Jim Farrell
Assistant Coaches — Mary Mauro, Amber Jost and Mindy Rader
Farrell and his staff led Cornerstone to a seventh trip to the NAIA Region VIII tournament and a third national tournament berth since 2000. The Golden Eagles finished the season with a 27-23 mark, claiming the Region VIII tournament title.
Southwest — Dickinson State University
Head Coach — Guy Fridley
Assistant Coach — Chelsea Rathie
Fridley guided Dickinson State to a school-record 43 wins this season as he surpassed the 100-career win plateau. In addition to the record-setting win total, the Blue Hawks also notched school-best marks for batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, stolen bases, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, ERA, runs allowed and strikeouts.