University of St. Thomas head coach John Tschida, along with assistants Tim Gormley, Brad Horstman, Dana Ballard and Jen Meyer, have been named the 2005 Speedline/NFCA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year.
Tschida and his staff will be honored at the 2005 NFCA National Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Tschida, in his fifth season at the school, and his assistants earned the honor, their second straight, after guiding St. Thomas to back-to-back national titles, a first for a Division III program since Eastern Connecticut State repeated in 1985 and 1986.
The Tommies finished 2005 with a 43-6 mark that included wins in 31 of their last 32 games. St. Thomas went a perfect 7-0 through the NCAA Tournament, never trailing during that span. Tschida earned Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and he brought his overall record to 401-79, a Division III-best .835 winning percentage.
The St. Thomas coaching staff also garnered Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year accolades. Other regional winners are as follows:
Atlantic Region — Salisbury University
Head Coach — Margie Knight
Assistant Coaches — Dr. Tom Stitcher, Lisa Gentilella, Jason Carl, Terri Sharpless, Marissa Dugan
Knight led her Salisbury squad to a fourth-straight berth in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship finals and a 44-6 record, the 10th straight season of 30 or more wins. Her Sea Gulls finished as national runner-up for the second time in three seasons. She earned Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season, and sixth since she became head coach at the school in 1997.
Central Region — Muskingum College
Head Coach — Donna Newberry
Assistant Coaches — Erin Zupko, Jen Segner-Filtz, Carla Bierbach
Newberry guided Muskingum to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship finals for the second straight season and sixth under her tenure. The Muskies finished sixth at the 2005 championship, capping the campaign with a 42-7 mark. Newberry became the winningest softball coach in Division III history as she broke the mark of 721 career wins on Apr. 27.
East Region — William Paterson University
Head Coach — Hallie Cohen
Assistant Coaches — Vanessa Lenoir, Erin McNeill
Cohen led William Paterson to a second NCAA Division III Softball National Championship finals appearance. She claimed New Jersey Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors for the third time after guiding the Pioneers to a 37-11-1 record, two shy of the school record established by the 2001 squad.
Great Lakes Region — Aurora University
Head Coach — Mike McKenzie
Assistant Coach — Laura Opie
In his second season at Aurora University, Mike McKenzie guided the Spartans to a school-best 40-6-1 record and a second straight Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference championship. He guided his team to the NCAA tournament for the 11th consecutive season, where it finished second in the Alma, Mich., regional.
New England Region — Williams College
Head Coach — Kris Herman
Assistant Coaches — Sue Plankey, Neil Sinclair
Herman led Williams College to a 28-14 record and the first appearance in the NCAA Tournament finals in the 19-year history of the program. The Ephs won a fifth straight New England Small College Athletic Conference Western Division title, and they won a second consecutive NESCAC tournament title.
Northeast Region — Ithaca College
Head Coach — Deb Pallozzi
Assistant Coaches — Scott Brown, Claire Costanza, Paul Giffune, Gregg Hepler, Sharon Mullins
Pallozzi led Ithaca to the NCAA Division III tournament for the 20th time, 13th in her 15 seasons, and to the finals for the eighth time. Pallozzi, who is the school’s all-time winningest softball coach, guided the Bombers to another 30-win season with a 31-14 mark.
West Region — Chapman University
Head Coach — Janet Lloyd
Assistant Coaches — Monica Colunga, Doug Aiken, Greg Crandall, John Campbell
Lloyd led Chapman to a second straight appearance in the finals of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship after winning a seventh regional title in 11 years. Her squad finished third at the national tournament, concluding the season with a 36-9 mark.