LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The eight programs that reached the 2019 Division II National Championships were selected by their peers as the NFCA Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, announced the Association on Tuesday morning.

Representing each of the NFCA’s eight Division II regions, these respective coaching staffs – West Chester University (Atlantic), Augustana University (Central), Long Island University Post (East), Grand Valley State University (Midwest), University of West Florida (South), Texas A&M University-Kingsville (South Central), Young Harris College (Southeast) and University of California, San Diego (West)- are now eligible for the NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year award, which will be announced on June 12.

The list includes national champion Augustana and national runner-up Texas A&M-Kingsville. Additionally, West Chester garnered its second straight recognition, while TAMUK and Young Harris are first-time coaching staff of the year recipients.

Regional Winners

Atlantic – West Chester

Head Coach: Diane Lokey
Assistant Coach: Laura Altenburger
Record: 40-22 | 11-5 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East

Returned to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year as Atlantic Region champions… No. 7 overall seed… Won the PSAC East regular-season for the sixth straight season… As the four seed, won the East Regional No. 1 and then knocked off Shepherd, 2-1 in Super Regionals… Finished NCAA postseason play with a 6-3 mark, 1-2 at NCAA Championships… Diane Lokey was named PSAC East and  Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Central – Augustana

Head Coach: Gretta Melsted
Assistant Coaches: Nat Wagner, Kelsey Thompson
Record: 61-11 | 27-3 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 

2019 National Champions… No. 3 overall seed… Matched single-season record with 61 wins… 10-2 record in NCAA postseason… NSIC Tournament champions… Finished second in NSIC regular season and was No. 3 seed in the Central Region… Knocked off No. 2 Winona State in regionals and No. 1 Central Oklahoma in Super Regionals, both on the road, to reach the program’s fifth NCAA Division II Softball Championships.

East – LIU Post 

Head Coach: Jamie Apicella
Assistant Coaches: Megan Butterworth, Lou Vanacore
Record: 51-13 | 22-2 East Coast Conference

Made fifth NCAA Division II Softball Championships appearance… No. 1 overall seed… Captured the East Region title taking two-of-three on road from No. 1 East Region seed Saint Anselm… Hanna Finkelstein hit a walk-off grand slam against New Haven, sending the Pioneers to Super Regionals… Program-record 51 wins… Head coach Jamie Apicella collected his 800thcareer win on April 5 versus American International… Captured ECC regular season title… Apicella named ECC Coach of the Year.

Midwest – Grand Valley State University

Head Coach: Dana Callihan
Assistant Coaches: Jen Rivera, Aaron Daldos, Jessi Ramos
Record: 51-10 | 24-6 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

National semifinalists in program’s fourth NCAA Division II Championships appearance… GLIAC regular and conference tournament champions… As No. 1 seed, swept through Midwest Regional and Super Regionals with 5-0 mark… 2-2 at national championships with wins over LIU Post and West Florida… Dana Callahan named GLIAC Coach of the Year for third straight season… 51 victories are second most in program history.

South – West Florida

Head Coach: Ashliegh McLean
Assistant Coach: Emma Johansen
Graduate Assistant: Becca Taylor
Student Assistant: Taylor Baynes
Record: 54-11 | 25-4 Gulf South Conference 

As No. 2 overall seed, made second NCAA Division National Championships appearance in last four years… 54 wins are the most for the Argonauts since 2005… Gulf South regular season and tournament titles… No. 1 seed in South Region… Made a 16.5 game improvement from 2018 season… Set program record with .977 fielding percentage… Senior class reached the NCAA Tournament all four seasons and posted 173 wins… Ranked in the NFCA’s top-10 all season, including No. 1 for four weeks… Ashliegh McLean named GSC Coach of the Year.

South Central – Texas A&M University-Kingsville 

Head Coach: Craig Nicholson
Assistant Coach: Justin Lewis
Graduate Assistant:  Melina Sanchez
Student Assistant: Sarah Gilbert
Record: 52-10 | 24-6 Lone Star Conference

National runner-up in first-ever NCAA Division II National Championships appearance… Best campaign in program history both in terms of win total, win percentage and national finish… Opened NCAA postseason with nine straight victories, including game one of championship series… No. 1 seed in South Central Region and No. 4 overall at NCAA Championships… Lone Star regular season and tournament champions… Ranked in the NFCA Coaches poll since March 6 and reached as high as No. 3… Craig Nicholson named LSC Coach of the Year.

Southeast – Young Harris

Head Coach: Kayla Lucas
Assistant Coaches: Amanda Henderson, Hannah Reppert, Sara Alderman
Record: 44-20 | 15-5 Peach Belt Conference

National semifinalists… No. 8 overall seed… Guided YHC to first-ever NCAA Division II National Championships appearance… Captured Southeast Region championship as No. 5 seed, knocking off No. 1 North Georgia in regionals and No. 3 Lincoln Memorial in Super Regionals, both on the road… 7-3 postseason record, which included wins over LIU Post and West Chester during championships… Recorded a program-best 44 wins (NCAA era) and the highest national tournament finish.

West – UC San Diego

Head Coach: Patti Gerckens
Assistant Coaches: Jessica Millsap, Megan Griffith, Nicole Hennessey
Volunteer Assistant: Ray Noelte
Record: 37-17 | 24-9 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)

West Region champions as No. 2 seed… 5-2 record in postseason, sweeping through Regionals and Super Regionals… No. 6 overall seed… Knocked off No. 1 West Region seed Concordia Irvine on the road to reach NCAA Division II National Championships… Patti Gerckens named CCAA Coach of the Year.

NCAA Division I

NCAA Division I

CENTRAL REGION | University of Oklahoma

Head Coach: Patty Gasso

Associate Head Coach: Jennifer Rocha | Assistant: JT Gasso | Volunteer Assistant: Alyssa Reina | Graduate Manager: Michael Lewis

GREAT LAKES REGION | University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Head Coach: Jamie Trachsel

Assistants: Piper Ritter, Katie Rietkovich | Volunteer Assistant: Alyssa Reina | Director of Operations: Cody Shoemaker | Graduate Manager: Michael Lewis


Head Coach: Pete D'Amore

Assistant Coaches: Kirin Kumar, Doug Gillis | Volunteer Assistant: Matt Guemmer

MIDEAST REGION | Louisiana Tech University

Head Coach: Mark Montgomery

Associate Head Coach: Emerald Doria | Assistant Coaches: Bianca Duran, Mike Forsythe | Graduate Manager: Brooke Morris

MIDEAST REGION | Southeast Missouri State University

Head Coach: Mark Redburn

Assistant Coaches: Kristen Jones, Bill Graham

MIDWEST REGION | Oklahoma State University

Head Coach: Kenny Gajewski

Assistant Coaches: Stacie Pestrak, Jeff Cottrill | Volunteer Assistant: Cody Barham

NORTHEAST REGION | James Madison University

Head Coach: Loren LaPorte

Associate Head Coach: Jennifer Herzig | Assistant Coach: Libby Morris | Volunteer Assistant: Derek Sauder

PACIFIC REGION | University of Washington

Head Coach: Heather Tarr

Assistant Coaches: J.T. D’Amico, Lance Glasoe | Volunteer Assistant: Whitney Jones | Director of Operations: Amy LeFurgy

SOUTH REGION | University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Head Coach: Pat Murphy

Associate Head Coach: Alyson Habetz | Assistant Coach: Stephanie Prothro | Volunteer Assistant: Brynne Dordel | Director of Operations: Kate Harris

SOUTHEAST REGION | University of Florida

Head Coach: Tim Walton

Assistant Coaches: Aric Thomas, Mike Bosch | Volunteer Assistant: Jolene Henderson

WEST REGION | University of California, Los Angeles

Head Coach: Kelly Inouye-Perez

Assistant Coaches: Lisa Fernandez, Kirk Walker | Volunteer Assistant: Kylee Perezz

Press Release

NCAA Division II

NCAA Division II

ATLANTIC REGION | West Chester University

Head Coach: Diane Lokey

Assistant Coach: Laura Altenburger

CENTRAL REGION | Augustana University

Head Coach: Gretta Melsted

Assistant Coaches: Nat Wagner, Kelsey Thompson

EAST REGION | Long Island University Post

Head Coach: Jamie Apicella

Assistant Coaches: Megan Butterworth, Lou Vanacore

MIDWEST REGION | Grand Valley State University

Head Coach: Dana Callihan

Assistant Coaches: Jen Rivera, Aaron Daldos, Jessi Ramos

SOUTH REGION | University of West Florida

Head Coach: Ashliegh McLean

Assistant Coach: Emma Johansen | Graduate Assistant: Becca Taylor | Student Assistant: Taylor Bayness

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION | Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Head Coach: Craig Nicholson

Assistant Coach: Justin Lewis | Graduate Assistant: Melina Sanchez

SOUTHEAST REGION | Young Harris College

Head Coach: Kayla Lucas

Assistant Coach: Amanda Henderson | Graduate Assistants: Hannah Reppert, Sara Alderman

WEST REGION | University of California San Diego

Head Coach: Patti Gerckens

Associate Head Coach: Jessica Millsap | Assistant Coaches: Megan Griffith, Nicole Hennessey | Volunteer Assistant: Ray Noelte

Press Release

NCAA Division III

NCAA Division III

ATLANTIC REGION | University of Lynchburg

Head Coach: Dawn Simmons

Assistant Coaches: Mike Jennings, Audra Della Rosa Bianco, Danielle Powell, MacKenzie Mount | Volunteer Assistants: Nicole Dawson, J’nae Critchley

CENTRAL REGION | Trine University

Head Coach: Donnie Danklefsen

Assistant Coaches: Brittany Harvey, Dennis Smith

EAST REGION | The College of New Jersey

Head Coach: Sally Miller

Assistant Coaches: Val Suto, Gina Massaro

GREAT LAKES REGION | Illinois Wesleyan University

Head Coach: Tiffany Prager

Assistant Coaches: Nikki Miller, Kimmy Hassel, Bob Grimes, Lyle Day | Director of Operations: Stephanie Alvarez-Rivera

MIDWEST REGION | University of St. Thomas (Minn.)

Head Coach: John Tschida

Assistant Coaches: Jim Tschida, Brad Horstman, Tim Gormley, Erica Wilson, Megan DuPuis

NEW ENGLAND REGION | Eastern Connecticut State University

Head Coach: Diana Pepin

Assistant Coaches: Mark Correia, Tom Madera, Dawn Brolin


Head Coach: Deb Pallozzi

Assistant Coach: Rinae Olsen, Dan Raymond, Payton Cutting, Stacey DiGiorgio

WEST REGION | Texas Lutheran University

Head Coach: Wade Wilson

Assistant Coaches: Olivia Van Hook, Dennis Moe, Ed Zarzabal

Press Release



REGION I | Georgia Gwinnett College

Head Coach: Kat Ihlenburg

Assistant Coaches: John Ihlenburg, Tony Medders

REGION II | University of Mobile

Head Coach: Alison Sellers-Cook

Assistant Coaches: Steve Alcorn, Kirstyn Joiner

REGION III | Vanguard University

Head Coach: Beth Renkoski

Assistant Coach: Sony Mitchell

REGION IV | University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma

Head Coach: Jadyn Wallis

Assistant Coaches: Kayla Adams, Ken Richardson

REGION V | Indiana University Southeast

Head Coach: Joe Witten

Associate Head Coach: Bill Pierce | Assistant Coaches: Kendra Deark-Witten, Brookelyn Visker

REGION VI | Marian University Indianapolis

Head Coach: Scott Fleming

Assistant Coaches: Hannah Williams, Mike Henderson

Press Release

NJCAA Division I

NJCAA Division I

MIDWEST REGION | Tyler Junior College

Head Coach: Maria Winn-Ratliff

Assistant Coach: Eric Henderson

SOUTH REGION | College of Central Florida

Head Coach: Kevin Fagan

Assistant Coach: Mike Lingle

WEST REGION | Howard College

Head Coach: Kelly Raines

Assistant Coach: Shelby Shelton

Press Release

NJCAA Division II

NJCAA Division II

EAST REGION | CCBC Catonsville

Head Coach: Chuck Slater

Assistant Coaches: Bob Baxter, Jess Dubbs, Mike Dubbs, Bill Saunders

MIDWEST REGION | Des Moines Area Community College

Head Coach: Bob Ligouri

Assistant Coaches: Thana Heller, Molly Bolibaugh, John Wilkinson

SOUTH REGION | East Central Community College

Head Coach: Eric Neel

Assistant Coach: Emily Church

Press Release

Cal JC

Cal JC

NORTH REGION | San Jose City College

Head Coach: Debbie Huntze-Rooney

Assistant Coaches: Terrell Jones, Brittney Guitierrez, Chuck Caldera, Debie Smith

SOUTH REGION | Fullerton College

Co-Head Coaches: Marian “Speedy” Mendoza, Crystal Aguirre

Assistant Coaches: Celina Gonzalez, Brandon Maurer, Angelica “Jelly” De’Angelo, Ru Andrade | Strength Coach: Robert Miranda

Press Release

High School

High School

EAST REGION | Donovan Catholic High School (N.J.)

Head Coach: Deborah Schwartz

Assistant Coaches: Dawn Dziedzic, Corey Schwartz, Kathleen Sharp, Jordan Weed

NORTH REGION | New Palestine High School (Ind.)

Head Coach: Ed Marcum

Assistant Coaches: Alyssa Dillard, Michelle Hokl, Audrey East, Matt Hayden

SOUTH REGION | Academy at the Lakes (Fla.)

Head Coach: Diane Stephenson

Assistant Coaches: John Counts, Robbie Blankenship, Jordyn Counts

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION | Louisville Male High School (Ky.)

Head Coach: Josh Bloomer

Assistant Coaches: Annie Gordon, Erika Downey, Ron Pence

WEST REGION | Artesia High School (N.M.)

Head Coach: Sandra Pulido

Assistant Coaches: Casey Crandall, Monica Reyes, Kim Smith, Vanessa Lopez

Press Release

Travel Ball

Travel Ball

EAST REGION | Virginia Unity 18U

Co-Head Coaches: Josh Johnson, Jenny Parker

NORTH REGION | Beverly Bandits 16u - Team Conroy (Ill.)

Head Coach: Bill Conroy

Assistant Coaches: Rex Mack, Seth Holloway, Nick Carver, Casey Skeens

SOUTH REGION | Tennessee Mojo 2021

Head Coach: Brooks Cherry

Assistant Coaches: Wayne Key, Mark Sellers


Head Coach: Lee Velazquez

Assistant Coach: Trae Watkins

WEST REGION | EC Bullets California 2020

Head Coaches: A.J. Robinson, John Kubski

Assistant Coaches: Keith Carden, Erin DaSilva

Press Release

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