Category Archives: Division I

9-18-2017 Assistant Coach of Year

Lombardi Named NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year

 

NORMAN – Oklahoma softball associate head coach Melyssa Lombardi has been named the 2017 Easton/NFCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced Monday afternoon.

The 2017 season marked the 20th for Lombardi as pitching coach for the Sooners and featured one of the deepest staffs in program history. Three pitchers threw at least 100 innings and all five members of the staff had ERAs at 2.08 or lower. The staff ERA was 1.55 on the season with 510 strikeouts (fourth most in program history) in 482.2 innings and an opponents’ average of .177 (eighth lowest at OU).

Paige Parker continued her career with another All-American season and her third straight season being named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year after posting the lowest ERA (1.43) and best strikeout rate (8.72 per 7 IP) of her career. She posted a 26-5 record with six shutouts while holding opponents to a .179 average in a team-high 210.1 innings.

Junior Paige Lowary transferred from Missouri and was named an All-Big 12 First Team honoree as she emerged as a dominant relief pitcher. With 11 saves on the year, Lowary had more than any team previously recorded in OU history and she tied for fifth in NCAA single-season records. In 146.2 innings, Lowary went 16-3 on the season with 122 strikeouts to just 33 walks with an opponents’ average of .163.

Freshman Mariah Lopez went 18-1 on the season with 109 strikeouts in 101 innings and threw a no-hitter. Fellow freshmen Nicole Mendes and Melanie Olmos rounded out the staff by giving up just two runs in 24.2 combined innings.

Earlier this season, Lombardi was part of the NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year along with head coach Patty Gasso, assistant coach J.T. Gasso and volunteer assistant coach Andrea Gasso.

During her tenure, the Sooners have won the 2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017 National Championships and have won 16 NCAA Regional Championships in 20 postseason appearances. In addition, the Sooners have claimed nine Big 12 regular season titles and four conference tournament championships.

As a member of the Sooners’ coaching staff, Lombardi has been a part of four NFCA National Coaching Staffs of the Year (including each of the last two seasons) and 10 Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year (including each of the last six seasons).

The winners of the NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year awards were nominated by their NFCA member head coach and selected by a panel of their peers on the NFCA Awards Committee.

9-16-2017 Auburn Hires Mickey Dean as Softball Coach

 

Auburn hires James Madison’s Mickey Dean as new softball coach

James Madision head coach Mickey Dean has been hired as Auburn’s new softball coach.
James Madision head coach Mickey Dean has been hired as Auburn’s new softball coach.(Vasha Hunt/vhunt@al.com)
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Auburn has hired James Madison’s Mickey Dean to be its next softball coach.

Dean went 237-56 in his five years at JMU, including 2-1 against Auburn, and has coached seven NCAA Tournament teams with one NCAA Super Regional appearance and won nine conference titles in his career.

“Coach Dean’s accomplishments at JMU are remarkable,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. “He’s won consistently at every level throughout his career. He’s done it the right way, winning with class and integrity while graduating his student-athletes at a high level. Auburn already has a winning program and we’re going to get even better. He’s a great fit for Auburn.”

Dean replaces Clint Myers, who the school announced “retired” on Aug. 23 but Jacobs later said was guilty of “wrongdoing” amid allegations of abuse and harassment under his watch by his son and former associate head coach Corey Myers, who “resigned” in March.

Dean coached five 40-win seasons, including the final two with 52 and 50 victories, and broke 104 program records at JMU, including over 40 pitching records while boasting one of the nation’s top pitching staffs. He’s coached seven all-Americans, including 2017 National Player of the Year, Megan Good, and been named conference coach of the year eight times during his career.

“It is an honor to be named the leader of the Auburn softball program,” Dean said in a statement. “I want to thank President Leath, Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs and the Board of Trustees for the exciting opportunity to lead this program.

“The future is bright for Auburn softball. We want the fans to be as excited as we are to come out and watch the program represent them in the highest standing.”

Prior to his time at JMU, Dean coached Radford for five seasons and served as an assistant coach at Akron (2001-02), Indiana (2002-04) and Longwood (2005-06). He was also the pitching coach for the Venezuelan National Team (2002-08) and the head coach for the Chicago Bandits (2004-10) that finished as the National Pro Fastpitch regular season champions five times and won the title in 2008.

Dean is a 1987 graduate of Elon University, where he was a pitcher on the baseball team.

9-16-2017 YWCA Honors Karen Weekly

YWCA SPOTLIGHTS KAREN WEEKLY AT ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO WOMEN

By Coy Gill, UTsports.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The YWCA honored Tennessee softball co-head coach Karen Weekly as one of the finalists for the Arts and Education Award in the 33rd annual Tribute to Women Thursday night at the Bijou Theatre.

Weekly was one of four women celebrated. The YWCA selected Weekly for her competitive drive and her desire to place the well-being of her student-athletes before winning games. This past season, Weekly also reached the 1,000-career win milestone, becoming only the 33rd Division I coach to accomplish the feat in any sport – and the third at Tennessee. Weekly joined her husband and co-head coach Ralph Weekly and legendary former women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt in that rarified air.

The YWCA Tribute to Women has been honoring distinguished women from the greater Knoxville area since 1985. Since 1899, the YWCA has existed as a force to empower women and eliminate racism.

Five awards were given out at the event. Gibbs Middle School principal Cindy White won of the of Arts and Education Award. Leslye Hartsell, the manager of Communications and Community Relations at Knoxville Utilities Board, won the Business and Professional Leadership Award. Dr. Alice Mercer, one of the founders of the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, won the Community Service and Government Award. Dr. Smita Borole, the head dentist at DentalWorks, won the Health and Human Services Award. Clarice Phelps, a researcher/program manager for industrial use isotopes at ORNL, won the Technology, Research, Innovation Award.

7 Auburn’s Clint Myers Announces Retirement

Clint Myers Announces Retirement as Auburn Softball Coach

AUBURN, Ala. – Clint Myers will retire as head coach of Auburn’s softball team. Myers arrived in Auburn in 2013 and compiled a record of 205-54-1, leading the team to Southeastern Conference Tournament Championships in 2015 and 2016 as well as back-to-back College World Series appearances. Since his appointment, Auburn has broken 23 records, including 17 on offense. Under Myers, Auburn has placed four student-athletes on Academic All-America and five Academic All-District lists. In 2016, the Tigers had 24 honorees on the Academic All-SEC list.

“After 40 years of coaching and reflecting on the importance of spending quality time with my wife, my children, and my grandchildren, I have decided to retire from a sport that I love dearly and which has brought so much joy to me,” Myers said. “I have had the chance to coach many great student-athletes. I have seen them grow to be outstanding contributors to society. My time in coaching has been a source of great pride. I appreciate the opportunity to coach at Auburn and am proud of our successes. I know the program has a bright future. The community, and group of fans have been incredible and I have truly appreciated their support. Auburn is a special place.”

“I am very proud of the many great accomplishments our student-athletes have achieved during Coach Myers tenure at Auburn,” Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. “The foundation for ongoing success is here because of Coach Myers love of Auburn and his desire to see this program reach a level of success that it had never seen before.

“Looking forward, we will continue to support our softball team in every way possible so as to ensure their continued success on and off the field of play.”

The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

SPY Note:  The press release failed to mention that Myers Arizona State team won the NAA national championship or that his Auburn team was an NCAA finalist.

-2017 Final NFCA DI Poll

2017 USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll (Final)

The 2017 USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.

Rankings

Rank Team Record Points Previous
1 Oklahoma (32) 61-9 800 6
2 Florida 58-10 768 2
3 Washington 50-14 718 7
4 Oregon 54-8 707 3
5 UCLA 48-15 670 9
6 LSU 48-22 630 18
7 Baylor 48-15 594 17
8 Texas A&M 47-13 572 12
9 Arizona 52-9 528 5
10 Florida State 55-8 513 4
11 Tennessee 48-12 442 10
12 Alabama 46-18 431 15
13 Auburn 49-12 420 8
14 Utah 37-16 379 16
15 Minnesota 56-5 371 1
16 Ole Miss 43-20 362 13
17 Kentucky (303) 39-19 19
18 James Madison 52-8 246 11
19 Louisiana 47-8 219 14
20 Michigan 43-13 191 20
21 BYU 46-13 159 21
22 Tulsa 41-17 106 23
23 Arizona State 31-22 80 22
24 Marshall 42-12 45
25 Georgia 35-23 32 25
South Carolina 34-25 32 24

Others receiving votes:

California (24), Oklahoma State (19), Wisconsin (11), North Dakota State (5), Arkansas (4), USC Upstate (4), Illinois (4), Mississippi State (4), Florida International (2), Texas State (2), Cal State Fullerton (2), Oregon State (1).

Dropped out:

None.

All Polls for Division I in 2017

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