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Cathi Aradi

Oregon Tech Captures NFCA NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year Award

STOregon TechARKVILLE, Miss. - Three weeks after winning the school’s first-ever softball national championship, the coaching staff of Oregon Institute of Technology earned another award Tuesday. Head coach Greg Stewart and assistant coaches Bill Fagan and Ryson Mauricio have been named the 2011 NFCA NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year.

Oregon Tech defeated top-ranked Cal Baptist to win the NAIA national championship last month in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Hustlin’ Owls won the first tournament matchup of the two heavyweights, 1-0. Cal Baptist fought back through the losers’ bracket and forced a second title game with a 7-0 victory. Again, Oregon Tech was up to the challenge with another thrilling 1-0 victory.

Ranked 18th in the final NAIA regular season coaches’ poll, Oregon Tech made the most of only their second-ever appearance in the national championship tournament. The Owls also posted a school-record with 42 victories against only 13 defeats. Oregon Tech won the Cascade Collegiate Conference regular season championship before launching its national title run.

Stewart is 226-107-2 in seven completed seasons as the Oregon Tech head coach. The Oregon Tech staff also earned West Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors, before nabbing the national award.

Other regional coaching staff of the years honors for 2011 included the William Carey University staff of head coach Wendy Hogue and assistant coaches Craig Fletcher and Chase Coleman in the East Region; the Judson University staff of head coach Becky Stenning and student assistant coaches Danielle Curylo, Matt Langston, Kaiti Niggemann and Nikki Prokuski in the Great Lakes Region; the MidAmerica Nazarene University staff of head coach Steve Babinski and assistant coaches Kevin Juber and Hallie McMillen in the Midwest Region and the Morningside College staff of head coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann and assistant coaches Mark Ouellette in the Southwest Region.