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Michigan Staff Named Speedline/NFCA Coaching Staff of Year

University of Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins, along with assistants Bonnie Tholl, Jennifer Brundage and Jennifer Teague, have been named the 2005 Speedline/NFCA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year, the association announced Wednesday. 

Hutchins, who won her 900th career game this season, and her staff guided Michigan to wins over UCLA in the final two games of the Women’s College World Series best-of-three championship series to claim the school’s first softball national title. The Wolverines finished the season with a 65-7 final mark. 

The Wolverines ranked No. 1 in the season’s final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll, a spot they held since Mar. 23. Michigan won the Big 10 regular season title for the 10th time, and it also claimed the conference’s tournament title for the seventh season. 

The Michigan coaching staff will be honored at the 2005 NFCA National Convention in Orlando, Fla. In addition to the national honor, they were also named Great Lakes Coaching Staff of the Year. Other regional winners were as follows: 

Southeast Region 
BETHUNE-COOKMAN COLLEGE
 

Laura Watten - Head Coach 
Alissa Smith - Assistant Coach 
Mike Pace - Pitching Coach 

Watten led Bethune-Cookman to a 49-19 campaign that included a regional victory in Gainesville, Fla., and a loss to Texas in NCAA Super Regional play… The Wildcats became the first MEAC team to receive an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament. 


Northeast Region 
SETON HALL UNIVERSITY
 

Ray Vander May - Head Coach 
Jay Nelson - Assistant Coach 
Robert Guerriero - Assistant Coach 

Vander May and his staff guided Seton Hall to a second straight Big East championship and the school’s third NCAA tournament appearance… The Pirates finished the season at 34-15 after regional losses to North Carolina and national champion Michigan… 


Mid-Atlantic Region 
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY
 

Bill Edwards - Head Coach 
Larissa Anderson - Associate Head Coach 
Lisa Ciarvardini - Assistant Coach 
Breanne Nasti - Assistant Coach 

Hofstra advanced to a second straight NCAA tournament by winning the Colonial Athletic Conference Tournament, the eighth straight for the Pride… Edwards led his squad to a 43-16 finish on the campaign, the winningest season in school history, as it fell in the regional final for the second straight season. 


Mideast Region 
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
 

Kate Drohan - Head Coach 
Caryl Drohan - Associate Head Coach 
Tori Nyberg - Assistant Coach 
Jaime Clark - Assistant Coach 

Drohan led the Wildcats to a 42-18 record, one win shy of the school record, and a second-place finish in the Big 10, the best since 1998…. Northwestern advanced to the NCAA Super Regional after hitting 56 home runs for the year, 23 better than the previous single-season best of 33. 

DePAUL UNIVERSITY 

Eugene Lenti - Head Coach 
Lindsay Chouinard - Assistant Coach 
Liz Bouck - Assistant Coach 
Teisha Smith - Assistant Coach 

Lenti, who was named Conference USA Coach of the Decade for women’s sports, led his Blue Demons to a 45-21 finish that included a trip to the Women’s College World Series after knocking off Northwestern in NCAA Super Regional action… His DePaul squad captured the Conference USA Tournament title, the fourth straight for the Blue Demons. 

Midwest Region 
TEXAS A&M
 

Jo Evans - Head Coach 
Joy Jackson - Associate Head Coach 
Rich Wieligman - Assistant Coach 

Evans earned her second straight Big 12 Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Aggies to a 47-10 record and NCAA Super Regional action… She led the Aggies to the Big 12 regular season title and an NCAA regional title before falling to Alabama in super regional play. 


South Region 
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
 

Ralph and Karen Weekly - Co-Head Coaches 
Marty McDaniel - Assistant Coach 
Marc Weekly - Assistant Coach 

Ralph and Karen Weekly guided Tennessee to a third-place finish, one win away from the national championship series, in its first Women’s College World Series appearance… The Lady Vols finished the campaign with 67 wins, tying for the most recorded in Division I history. 


West Region 
UNLV
 

Lonni Alameda - Head Coach 
Sara Pickering - Assistant Coach 
Angel Santiago - Assistant Coach 

Alameda led UNLV to a 44-19 record, the third most victories in school history… Her Rebels advanced to NCAA Regional play for the first time since 1996, falling to eventual national runner-up UCLA… She claimed MWC Coach of the Year honors as her team compiled a 17-3 mark in the Mountain West Conference, the most conference victories by the school since it began MWC play in 2000. 


Pacific Region 
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
 

Kirk Walker - Head Coach 
Crissy Buck - Assistant Coach 
Heather Smith - Assistant Coach 
Mikiah Smith - Assistant Coach 

Walker led his Oregon State club to the NCAA regional final in Madison, Wis., where its season ended at 43-16 with a loss to eventual WCWS participant DePaul… The conference coach of the year guided the Beavers to their first-ever share of the Pac-10 title and the NCAA regional championship game for the third straight season.