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NFCC Returns to Women’s College World Series for 2012

Courtesy of ASA/USA SoftballSTARKVILLE, Miss. – For the 11th consecutive year, the National Fastpitch Coaches College will hold its World Series Game & Coaching Observation class at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 31-June 2. 

Course 408 offers a balanced blend of classroom teaching and game-observation at the sport’s premier annual event. This year, the course will be led by St. Thomas (Minn.) head coach John Tschida, former Texas Woman’s head coach and NFCA Hall of Famer Dianne Baker and former Iowa head coach and fellow NFCA Hall of Famer Gayle Blevins.

Participants will work in a classroom setting on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the day and will then have the opportunity to attend and observe WCWS games on Thursday and Friday evenings. At the games, participants will discuss the happenings and decisions on the field with the three instructors as they occur and after the game, they will have the opportunity to speak with actual WCWS coaches and ask them about their in-game choices.

Course 408 is one of eight courses that make up the National Fastpitch Coaches College curriculum. Since it’s founding in 2002, the NFCC has been one of the cornerstones of the NFCA’s pledge to help continually educate softball coaches of all levels. Along with earning the title of Four-Star Master Coach, completion of the eight-course curriculum can also count towards a master’s degree in coaching from Texas Woman’s University.

Three-time NCAA national champion John Tschida is largely regarded as one of the best softball clinicians in the nation. Now in his 18th season as a head coach, he has guided two different schools, St. Mary’s (Minn.) and St. Thomas) to national championship and is currently the all-time winningest Division III coach by percentage. Tschida has had his team ranked during each year of his career and coached 28 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Americans and 43 CapitalOne Academic All-Americans. Since his career began in 1995, Tschida has only had two 10-plus loss seasons, has not had one since 1996 and has never had one at St. Thomas

Former Texas Woman’s head coach and NFCA Hall of Famer Dianne Baker is one of the most respected minds in all of softball. After building Texas Woman’s into a Division II power and winning a national championship with Stephen F. Austin, Baker retired from collegiate coaching in 2005. One to never the let grass grow, she has stayed active in the softball community as a highly successful travel ball coach, as the national promotions softball/baseball promotions director for Schutt Sports and as a noted softball author. Her two books, Winning Softball Drills and Winning Softball Practice Manual and Drills, have been very successful and are still popular in the coaching community.

After retiring at the helm of the Iowa program in 2010 after 31 seasons as a head coach, NFCA Hall of Famer Gayle Blevins continues to be one of the sport’s leading voices. The fourth winningest coach in NCAA history, Blevins ended her career with an astonishing 1,245-588. While at the helm of Iowa and Indiana, Blevins led the teams to a combined seven WCWS appearances and won eight Big Ten championships. However, the most amazing statistic may be the fact that in 31 years as a head coach Blevins never had a losing season. Currently, she is helping the NFCA produce the second edition of The Softball Coaching Bible.

Registration for the course is available at nfca.org/college or by calling (662) 320-2155. The cost is $250 for members and $275 for non-members until May 17, after which the price will be raised by $25. A discount of $100 is also being offered for this course for programs that have more than one coach attend the class. For programs with multiple coaches attending, the head coach will pay the regular price while any other members of the staff can attend for $100 off. Tickets to the evening session of the WCWS on Thursday and Friday are included in the price of the course.