CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced its 2021 preseason polls for all three divisions. Six-time defending champion Rock Valley College was the unanimous pick in NJCAA DIII, while Florida SouthWestern State College and Phoenix College also earned unanimous selections in Division I and II, respectively.
Under the direction of Darin Monroe, the Golden Eagles posted a 17-3 mark in the shortened 2020 season. On its way to the college's sixth straight NJCAA Division III national championship, Rock Valley finished 2019 tying a program record with 57 wins and also collected its seventh straight N4C Conference Championship. In nine seasons under Monroe, the Golden Eagles have accumulated an overall record of 388-78, including seven trips to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.
Florida SouthWestern returns nearly its entire lineup as well as three of its top four pitchers to a team that went 23-2 a season ago and spent the entirety of the season ranked in the top five nationally. Over the 25-game start, FSW hit .434 as a team, while averaging over 10 runs per game. The No. 1 ranking marks the third time in the past four seasons under head coach Robert Iamurri that FSW has been tabbed the top team in the nation by the NJCAA.
Phoenix College was undefeated at 25-0 and No. 1 in the NJCAA when the season was halted. Head coach Heinz Mueller, who will be inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame this December, has guided Phoenix College to eight NJCAA Division II national titles over the last 21 seasons. In the shortened 2020 season, Mueller reached the 1,400-win plateau and currently is the winningest active coach in the NJCAA with 1,413 victories.