Go big and go home.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One of the most anticipated features of the annual NFCA Convention program is the diverse array of speakers that cover topics from both inside and outside softball. With the continued growth of our membership and convention attendees, the NFCA is “doubling down in Vegas.” With more Convention features than ever before, the NFCA has added four speaker sessions for 2017 and currently have 52 individual speakers scheduled over a four-day period.

Headlining this year’s event over Dec. 6-9 at Bally’s Las Vegas is keynote speaker Jessica Mendoza. You will also hear from 42-year veteran and eight-time national champion Mike Candrea (HOF ’96) of Arizona, a panel of national championship head coaches, nine NFCA Hall of Famers and both pitching coaches from the 2017 Women’s College World Series as well as some of the greatest minds in the game.

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The panel of national title coaches includes:

Oklahoma City’s Phil McSpadden (HOF ’14)
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10 NAIA national titles and 1,613 wins, the most amongst four-year college head coaches

Oklahoma’s Patty Gasso (HOF ’12)
- Back-to-back WCWS championships and four overall

LSU-Eunice’s Andy Lee
- Five NJCAA DII titles, including four in the last five years

Minnesota State’s (DII) Lori Meyer (HOF ’13)
- First-time national championship winner

Virginia Wesleyan’s (DIII) Brandon Elliott
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First-time national championship winner

Jessica Mendoza

Mendoza, an analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball team, is a four-time NFCA All-American, two-time Olympic medalist, three-time world champion and the 2006 USA Softball Athlete of the Year.  

She was also a standout performer for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2001-10, earning Olympic gold in 2004 and silver in 2008 in Beijing, the same year Mendoza was selected the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year. Team USA won world championships in 2002, 2006 and 2010, captured the World Cup of Softball in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and scored Pan American titles in 2003 and 2007.

Since joining ESPN in 2007, Mendoza has broken several barriers in television broadcasting. In 2015, she became the first female broadcaster for ESPN’s Men’s College World Series and the first woman to be an analyst for a Major League Baseball game, when she worked the Aug. 24 Monday Night Baseball contest between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. Her work on several Sunday Night Baseball games and a nationally-televised MLB American League Wild Card Game led to Mendoza being named a permanent member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team in January 2016.

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