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NFCA Names Speedline NJCAA Divison I Coaching Staff Of The Year

COLUMBIA, MO -- The softball coaching staffs from Chattanooga State Technical Community College (TN) and Johnson County Community College (KS) will share the 2001 Speedline/NFCA NJCAA Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year award following a tie in the voting conducted among NFCA member NJCAA Division I head coaches.

Chattanooga State head coach Frank Reed and his assistant coaches, April Castleberry, Donald Pickett and Zane Fox, guided the Lady Tigers to the No. 2 ranking in the final NJCAA Division I Poll, a fourth-place finish at the national tournament and a 62-3 record. Chattanooga State won four games at nationals before falling 1-0 to eventual national champion Lake City in the fourth-place game. Two Lady Tigers, infielder Jada Pescatore and outfielder Paige Cochran, were named to the All-National Tournament team.

Johnson County head coach Frank Barnes and his assistant Johnna Shackleford guided JCCC (47-10) to the No. 9 spot in the final NJCAA Poll and its fourth national tournament appearance in five years. The Cavaliers were Jayhawk Conference (17-1) and District C champions and finished the season unbeaten (22-0) in district play. JCCC was also the NJCAA and NFCA Academic Team of the Year.

The Chattanooga State and Johnson County staffs will each be recognized as the 2001 Speedline/NFCA NJCAA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year at the NFCA National Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona in December. They were first selected by NFCA member NJCAA Division I head coaches as the Region Coaching Staff of the Year in the South and West regions respectively. They were then placed on the national ballot.

The Seminole State College (OK) staff (head coach Mark Dicus, assistant coaches Kristy Dean and Rusty Owens) was named NJCAA Division I Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year. They led the Belles to a 63-11 overall record, the No. 6 spot in the final NJCAA Poll and the District B championship. Seminole was 0-2 at nationals, but both losses were by 1-0 scores. The Belles ranked No. 9 in NJCAA Division I team batting with a .370 average.