STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Texas head coach Connie Clark, along with assistant coaches Marla Looper and Jill Matyuch, have been named the 2003 Speedline/NFCA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year.

Clark and her staff guided Texas to a 49-9 record and a third place finish at the Women's College World Series. The Longhorns went 4-0 in regional play and opened the WCWS with wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and California before dropping a pair of contests to eventual national champion UCLA.

The Texas staff was also tabbed the Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year. They will be recognized as the national winner at the NFCA National Convention in Montgomery, Texas, this December.

Other Speedline top regional staffs, as selected by their coaching peers, are:

South Region - University of Alabama

Head Coach: Pat Murphy 
Assistant Coaches: Alyson Habetz, Vann Stuedeman

Alabama was ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 all season, and built on the momentum of capturing the school's second SEC Tournament championship, by winning the Region No. 8 tournament in Tuscaloosa. Murphy, who led the Tide to their only other WCWS appearance in 2000, lost a one run game to Arizona and dropped an extra inning decision to Oklahoma in WCWS play. Alabama finished the season 49-21and ranked No. 7 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.

West Region - California State University, Fullerton

Head Coach: Michelle Gromacki 
Assistant Coaches: Terry Schweikert, Dee Dee Weiman

In her fourth season as head coach at Cal State Fullerton, Gromacki led her alma mater to a 41-15 record, including a 20-1 mark in Big West play. The Titans dropped two one-run decisions to Oregon and Louisiana-Lafayette in regional play, and finished the season ranked in the top ten for the second consecutive season.

Mid-Atlantic Region - Hofstra University

Head Coach: Bill Edwards 
Assistant Coaches: Larissa Smith Anderson, Scott Coppola

Hofstra won its sixth straight Colonial Athletic Association title, and improved to 19-0 all-time in conference play at home. The Pride earned the seventh seed in the No. 5 Regional, and opened NCAA play with a 3-1 upset of host Nebraska. Hofstra finished the season with a 39-17 record, and Edwards is just nine wins shy of his 500th win at the school.

Mideast Region - University of Iowa

Head Coach: Gayle Blevins 
Assistanat Coaches: Michelle Venturella, Holly Van Vlymen

Iowa claimed the Big Ten championship, but fell to Washington in the regional final in 2003. The Hawkeyes finished the season with a 44-15 record, including a 13-4 mark in the Big Ten. Blevins, an NFCA Hall of Famer, is the conference?s all-time winningest coach, notting her 400th conference win of her career in 2003. Iowa finished the season ranked No. 17 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.

Northeast Region- University of Massachusetts

Head Coach: Elaine Sortino 
Assistant Coach: Danielle Henderson, Kim Burke, Lizzy Lemire

A five-time NFCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year recipient, Massachusetts won its 16th Atlantic 10 championship in 2003. The Minutewomen claimed the title at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, and won three games in NCAA regional play before falling to Southern Illinois. UMass finished the season 39-15. In 2003, Sortino became the 13th Division I coach to amass 800 career victories.

Great Lakes Region- Michigan State University

Head Coach: Jacquie Joseph 
Assistant Coaches: Stephenie Henderson, Amanda Scott

In her 10th season at the helm of the Spartan program, Joseph led Michigan State to its third NCAA Regional appearance, losing to eventual national champion UCLA in the regional final. MSU was ranked No. 24 in the final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 after finishing with a 40-19 record.

Southeast Region- University of Georgia

Head Coach: Lu Harris-Champer 
Assistant Coaches: Sharon Perkins, Frank Turner

In just her third season as head coach, Lu Harris-Champer led Georgia to unprecedented heights, winning the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs went 57-14, and climbed to as high as No. 7 in the nation. She was named the Southeastern Conference?s Coach of the Year. Over the past two seasons, Georgia has averaged 58 wins, the most in the nation. 

Pacific Region- University of California

Head Coach: Diane Ninemire 
Assistant Coaches: John Reeves, Kim Maher, Dan Parajon

After winning the national championship in 2002, California returned to the WCWS for the fifth straight season and fought back from the loser?s bracket to make the title game. It was the sixth time that Ninemire had led the Bears to Oklahoma City. Cal ended the season with a 49-20 record and ranked second in the final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

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