Head coach James McClanahan, along with assistant coaches Amy Mattes, Laura Rivers and Jim Smittle, have been tabbed the Speedline/NFCA High School National Coaching Staff of the Year after leading Fort Bend Elkins (Missouri City, Texas) to a 39-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in the final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25.
The Knights won the Texas Class 5A championship, becoming just the third team to claim that title with an unbeaten record. Elkins was one of just three teams to finish its 2004 season undefeated.
McClanahan, in his tenth year at the helm of the Elkins program, led the Knights to a 34-4 record and an appearance in the state semifinals in 2003. The return of most of the roster, which included three Division I signees, secured Elkins the No. 1 spot in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll, a spot it held for 13 weeks.
Over the last three years, McClanahan has guided Elkins to an impressive 104-10 record.
The Knight staff was also honored as the Speedline/NFCA South Central regional staff of the year. Other top Speedline regional staffs are:
EAST REGION - St. John Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Aado Kommendant.Head Coach
Kommendant led Vianney to the best single-season record in New Jersey history this past season. On a team with just one senior, Vianney went 33-0 and finished the season ranked No. 13 in the final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25. Vianney, one of just three prep teams to finish the season unbeaten in 2004, has claimed three of the last four NJSIAA Parochial A championships under Kommendant.
SOUTH REGION - St. Amant (St. Amant, La.)
Scott Nielson, Head Coach
Nielson led St. Amant to the Louisiana Class 5A championship for the third consecutive season. The Gators finished the season 38-1-2 and No. 4 in the final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25.
WEST REGION - Pacifica (Garden Grove, Calif.)
Rob Weil, Head Coach
Weil, whose staff has claimed back-to-back regional accolades, led Pacifica to a 31-2 record and the CIF Division III title for the second consecutive year. Pacifica finished the season ranked No. 3 in the USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25, a year removed from claiming national runner-up honors.
NORTH REGION - Lockport Township (Lockport, Ill.)
Marissa Chovanec, Head Coach
Chovanec led Lockport to the Class AA championship in Illinois. The Porters defeated Oak Park 8-6 in the championship game after trailing 6-0 in the fourth inning. The Porters finished the season with a 39-2 record.