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Cathi Aradi

SIUE Named Division II Coaching Staff of Year

Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville head coach Sandy Montgomery, along with assistant coaches Valerie McCoy and Shannon Evans, have been named the 2007 NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year, the association announced Thursday afternoon. 

Montgomery and her staff will be honored at the 2007 NFCA National Convention that will be held Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton. 

The SIU-Edwardsville staff earned the accolade after guiding the Cougars to the program’s first Division II softball national title. Montgomery, in her 19th season at the school, led SIUE to the NCAA tournament for the eighth straight season. 

The Cougars finished the year with a 49-8 record and a 19-5 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. SIUE won its last 16 games and 25 of 26 as it finished No. 1 in the final NFCA Division II Top 25 poll for the first time. 

The Southern Illinois-Edwardsville staff also earned Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors. Other regional winners were as follows: 

Mid-Atlantic Region 
Lock Haven University 
Head Coach — Kelley Green 
Assistant Coaches — Kelly Shannon and Danielle Fraser (Vol. Asst.) 

Green and her staff guided Lock Haven to a 52-5 season and a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. The Lady Eagles, who ended the season ranked second in the NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, won a second straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division Title and a second consecutive conference tournament crown. 


North Central Region 
University of Nebraska-Omaha 
Head Coach — Jeanne Scarpello 
Assistant Coaches — Michala Cimino, Kevin Dunn, Cory Petermann 

Scarpello and her staff guided the Mavericks to their sixth appearance in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship and a 34-20 final record in her eighth season at the school. Under her guidance, UNO finished the year ranked seventh nationally and advanced to NCAA regional play for the eighth straight year. 


Northeast Region 
LIU-C.W. Post 
Head Coach — Jamie Apicella 
Assistant Coach — Kelsey Walker 

Apicella and Walker guided C.W. Post to one of its most successful campaigns in school history, claming a school-best 45-17 record and earning the program’s first berth to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. Ranked eighth in the final NFCA Top 25 poll, the Pioneers clinched the school’s first Northeast regional title. 


South Region 
Florida Southern College 
Head Coach — Chris Bellotto 
Assistant Coaches — Jeff Lang, Julianne Dunham and Al Bellotto 

Bellotto and her staff guided the Moccasins back to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, where they finished fourth. FSC, the nation’s fourth-ranked team, finished the year 51-15 and won the Sunshine State Conference and NCAA South region titles for the second straight year. 


South Atlantic Region 
Columbus State University 
Head Coach — Tiffany Tootle 
Assistant Coaches — Brad Huskisson and Jessica Bottoms (Grad. Asst.) 

Tootle and her staff guided Columbus State to a program-best 58-5 season that concluded with a third-place finish in its first appearance at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. The Cougars finished the year third in the NFCA Division II Top 25 after ranking first the last half of the year. The Cougars won a third straight Peach Belt Conference Tournament title. 


South Central Region 
Angelo State University 
Head Coach — Travis Scott 
Assistant Coaches — Claudia Lopez and Kelly Rhyne (Grad. Asst.) 

Scott and the Rambelles’ coaching staff advanced to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, where they tied for fifth place. ASU claimed a school record for wins on the year, compiling a 53-15 mark. Angelo State, who won the Lone Star Conference South title, finished the season ranked fifth nationally after ranking in the top five most of the season. 


West Region 
California State University, Stanislaus 
Head Coach — Jan Schefkowitz 
Assistant Coach — Paul Cavan 

Schefkowitz and her staff guided Stanislaus to a first-ever appearance in the NCAA final eight after claiming the West regional championship. The Warriors closed the season with a new school record for wins after compiling a 50-20 final mark and a No. 6 national ranking.