LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The NFCA is pleased to announce St. Catherine University assistant coach Emma Frost and Juan Sequin High School's (Texas) Jacob Houpt are the 2023 recipients of the Mary Nutter Scholarship. Frost and Houpt will receive funding to attend the 2023 NFCA National Convention, Dec. 6-9 in the Association’s hometown of Louisville.
The Mary Nutter Scholarship is an educational grant named for the former Pittsburg State (Kan.) head coach and 1997 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee who founded the National Sports Clinics. It seeks to continue Nutter’s effort to provide softball coaches at all levels access to the best minds in the sport to help them become better coaches themselves.
Frost joined the collegiate coaching ranks a year ago and enters her second season as St. Catherine’s assistant coach and also serves as the assistant events coordinator. Known for being the first in the office and last to leave, Frost, upon her arrival, made an immediate impact on the student-athletes, while also becoming a favorite amongst St. Kate’s coaches and administrators. In her first year, Frost gained the trust of the players with her infectious personality and ability to push their limits with joy in mind. This led to Head Coach Colleen Powers handing over the reins with zero hesitation to run practices and coach third base while Powers was recovering from a back injury.
“I believe Emma embodies the spirit of Coach Mary Nutter,” said Powers. “She is a fantastic person who understands the game, takes great pride in caring for the needs of players, and is a fierce competitor. Emma is chomping at the bit to learn more, grow as a coach and build relationships within this amazing organization (NFCA).”
New to the softball coaching world, Houpt dove in head first and has not looked back. He immediately became a member, joined the NFCA Mentoring program, attended last year’s Convention and the Oklahoma City Coaches Clinic. Additionally, Houpt is furthering his knowledge through the NFCA’s vast archives of educational material, along with purchasing softball content through the NFCA store.
“I might not be the best softball coach (yet), but you would be hard pressed to find one that is more dedicated to this game in the past year,” said Houpt. “I look forward to my continued growth as a leader, mentor and coach for the betterment of my student-athletes.”
Frost and Houpt will be recognized on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the Convention’s annual mentoring workshop.
Nutter, who passed away in July 2012, compiled a 204-125 record over eight years at Pittsburg State University. She got her start in coaching with three years as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, after seven years as a teacher in nearby Elsie, Mich.
In 1981, Nutter won the first of three NAIA District 10 titles and the first of her three District 10 Coach of the Year honors (1981, 1982, 1985). That 1981 squad finished fourth at the NAIA national championship and she served as an assistant coach for the 1983 Pan American Tri-Nationals team and was a member of the 1984 U.S. Pan American selection committee. Nutter was a 1988 inductee into the NAIA Hall of Fame.
As a player, Nutter was a two-time first-team All-American (1974-75) for the Lansing Laurels, an ASA Women’s Major fastpitch team and spent 1976 as player-coach for the Michigan Travelers of the Women’s Professional Softball League.
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its extensive awards and scholarships program, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from NFCA podcasts to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and a National Convention.