Spy Softball 12/11/2014
On Wednesday, while the Washington Post and other news media were awash with the Senate Democrats report on Extraordinary Interrogation Techniques, the obituary page noted the death of Ernie Brace, who was held captive longer than any US citizen during the Vietnam war. After his capture in 1965, he was held 3 1/2 years in a bamboo cage by North Vietnamese soldiers before being transferred to the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he was put in a cell where he was next to John McCain, now a U.S. senator from Arizona. Brace was put in the infamous tiger cages, tortured etc.
NFCA 2015 Hall of Fame
2015 NFCA Hall of Fame Class to Feature, Evans, Kubicka and Myers
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The NFCA announced its 2015 Hall of Fame class at the conclusion of its annual Hall of Fame banquet and reception on Friday evening at Planet Hollywood. The trio of inductees includes Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans, Montclair State head coach Anita Kubicka and Auburn head coach Clint Myers. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2015 NFCA National Convention held in Atlanta, Ga.
Jo Evans, Texas A&M (Utah & Colorado State)
Jo Evans has made her mark on Texas A&M softball, taking it from a team with a lot of history into a formidable contender on the national stage. One of the winningest active Division I coaches in softball today, Evans has guided the Aggies to a program-best No. 2 national ranking and a school-record 32 straight NCAA tournament appearances since 2002.
Entering her 19th season, Evans has led the Aggies to three Big 12 titles (2005 regular season and 2008 regular season and tournament), 14 NCAA Regional appearances (including 12 straight) and five NCAA Super Regional appearances.
In her tenure, Texas A&M has advanced to the NCAA postseason 15 times, including two consecutive trips to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in 2007 & 2008. The three-time Big 12 Coach of the Year claimed her 1,000th career coaching victory this year at home against Wisconsin on Feb. 28, during the Texas A&M Invitational.
Posting a 709-344-2 (.672) mark under Evans, the Aggies have recorded 18 straight, 30-win seasons, including eight 40-win seasons and a program-best 57 wins in 2008.
Evans began her head coaching career at Colorado State University in 1986, following two seasons as an assistant coach at Florida State. She led CSU to a 91-67 mark during her four-year stint, collected back-to-back High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors her final two seasons and was chosen as the Central Region Coach of the Year in 1989.
Evans returned home, to Utah, in 1991 to take over at her alma mater. The two-time WAC Coach of the Year as well as the West Region Coach of the Year, Evans directed the Utes to the WCWS in just her second year, back-to-back WAC regular season and tournament titles and two WCWS appearances.
Anita Kubicka, Montclair State
Anita Kubicka’s teams have won 30-plus games 16 times, including 12 of the last 15 campaigns, and she has led the Red Hawks to 14 NCAA tournament appearances over that span. That includes five trips to the Division III Softball Championship, where Montclair State was the 1997 runner-up and earned third-place finishes in 1992 and 2012. In addition, the Red Hawks have won seven Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships and Kubicka has collected several New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and Regional Coach of the Year honors.
Over the past four seasons, few teams have enjoyed the success that Kubicka’s teams have achieved, winning 82 percent of their games and posting an 159-34 record, including three straight 40-win seasons. Montclair State won the 2013 NJAC championship and has reached the NCAA Division III Softball Championship the last three years. The Red Hawks have twice set the school mark for wins in a season (44 in 2012 and 46 in 2013) and have regularly been ranked in the top 10 of the NFCA’s Top 25 poll, including spending several weeks at No. 1 in 2013.
Just a year after joining Montclair State, Kubicka guided the Red Hawks to a third-place finish in the 1992 NCAA Division III Softball Championship. Montclair State earned the final regional berth and won four straight games, including three in one day, to advance. Four years later, the Red Hawks reached championship game, and came within a run of winning the title in a 2-1 loss to Simpson College. She surpassed the 700-win mark in 2012, with a 5-0 victory over Ramapo in the opening round of the NJAC Softball Championship.
Kubicka also played a major role in the construction of a softball stadium that gave her team a first-class facility to match its success on the field. In October, Kubicka was inducted into the Montclair State Athletic Hall of Fame for her service not only as softball coach, but also assistant athletic director.
A 1984 graduate of Trenton State (now The College of New Jersey), Kubicka played on the Lions’ 1983 national championship squad and earned her master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts, where she was an assistant softball coach for three seasons.
Clint Myers, Auburn University (Arizona State/Central Arizona College)
Clint Myers, who is entering his second year at Auburn has enjoyed a very successful 18 years as a collegiate softball coach. He has won two NCAA Division I National Championships and six more at the Junior College level, while amassing 943 wins.
Myers made an immediate impact upon his arrival at Auburn. He led the team to 42 wins, the second-most in one year in Auburn softball history, and the NCAA regional final. The program made vast improvements as the offense skyrocketed to some of its highest totals in program history and the defense tied for the second best percentage in the NCAA.
At Arizona State, Myers captained the Sun Devils to national titles in 2008 and 2011, and made the trip to WCWS in Oklahoma City seven times in eight years. Under his guidance, ASU averaged 53 wins per season and won 60-plus wins twice. He became the third coach in Sun Devil softball history to amass 400 victories.
The Bismarck, N.D. native, spent 19 highly successful years coaching Central Arizona College’s baseball and softball teams. From 1987-95, Myers built a record of 481-43 (.917 winning pct.) as the skipper of the softball program, winning six national titles, including a string of five straight from 1988-1992. A six-time NJCAA national coach of the year, Myers was also selected as the National Softball Coaches Association (NSCA) regional and National Coach of the Year in 1990, 1991 and 1992.
Myers was inducted into the NJCAA Softball Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame in 2001.
A 1976 graduate of Arizona State, Myers was a member of the Sun Devil baseball team from 1970-73 and played on the College World Series runner-up squads in 1972 and 1973. In addition, he was a third –round MLB draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973.
Leading British major events company appointed to bring electrifying look, atmosphere to Premier 12
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced today that The Works has been appointed to design the official look, including Fanzones, of the first edition of The Premier 12, which will be staged in November 2015.
The Works, who has developed the official look for some of the world’s biggest sports properties, including 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League Finals and the 2014 FIVB Men’s & Women’s World Championships, will manage the brand design and complete artwork rollout for the new flagship pro baseball world championship that will feature the Top 12 National Baseball Teams in the world.
“The WBSC is thrilled to partner with industry leaders like The Works to develop a universally appealing and exciting look that not only captures but enhances what The Premier 12 brand represents, and collectively elevates the profile of the WBSC,” said Masaru Yokoo, WBSC Baseball Marketing Director.
The Premier 12 platform, which uses the Top 12 in the WBSC World Baseball Rankings as the qualification method, will award the highest amount of world ranking points of any international baseball event, positioning the world championship as baseball’s grand prix and distributing US$ multi-millions in prize money.
The Works CEO Roy Webber said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the WBSC. Baseball is one of the world’s biggest sports, and our team is particularly excited with this new challenge. We aim to deliver an official look and rollout that will reflect the global appeal and the position of this exciting new world championship platform.”
WBSC’s appointment of The Works’ follows last week’s agreement in which London-based MP & Silva outright purchased the exclusive worldwide distribution and sponsorship rights of the 2015 and 2019 editions of Premier 12.
The Premier 12 logo and 2015 tournament dates will be unveiled at upcoming press conference in January.
NPF Announces Extended Relationship With “Just Softball”
Nashville, Tennessee – December 11, 2014 – National Pro Fastpitch announced today an extended relationship with “Just Softball” and its president, Deb Hartwig. Hartwig is set to oversee operations of the Championship Series and Special Events for the league. This is an extension of Hartwig’s current position with NPF as Director of the Championship Series.
“Deb Hartwig has been an integral part of operating our Championship Series since 2011,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “Throughout that time period, Deb has exhibited the utmost organization and leadership in handling the event that means the most to our teams, owners and players. It is an important step for the league to utilize the expertise of Deb Hartwig and her company, “Just Softball” in the capacity of event management as the league continues to grow.”
Since 2010, NPF has developed and grown the season culmination, Championship Series. Each year, the event has grown in size and scope from television coverage to the annual awards banquet to the venue capacity. In 2014, the Championship spent its first year at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, AL – a venue with a seating capacity of 10,000. From 2011 to 2013, the Series had its final game(s) broadcast live nationally on ESPN2. In 2014, CBS Sports added live coverage of 3 of the 4 days of the Championship Series. Hartwig has overseen the Series in the position of Director since 2011.
Another primary event for NPF is the annual College Draft. This event takes place in the spring of each year and has been held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum since 2013. Like the Series, the event has continued to grow in size and scope, specifically over the past 5 years. The Draft is typically a live-streamed event that captures national attention as college seniors, their teams and families, along with NPF team fans throughout the country tune in to see where the stars of college softball will play professionally.
The League continues to explore additional special events for future coverage and to enhance partnerships. An annual All Star game, international championship, and Fall Exhibition Tour are all possibilities.