2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
AWARD: @Patriot_sb coaches earn NFCA West Region honor

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TYLER – UT Tyler’s Mike Reed, Whitney Wyly, Christa Hartnett and Anthony Springer have been named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s NCAA Division III West Region Coaching Staff of the Year after leading the Patriots a 46-6 record and to the program’s sixth NCAA DIII Softball Championship appearance.


UT Tyler finished the season outscoring its opponents by a 396-100 margin and with a .378 batting average which was second nationally. The Patriots led the nation with a .982 fielding percentage and .561 slugging percentage and were fourth with 7.62 runs per game. The team’s success was highlighted individually with Kaylee Prather and Cheyenne Thompson earning NFCA All-America honors and Prather, Thompson and KK Stevens being named FastPitch News All-Americans. The Patriots were the runner-up in the American Southwest Conference Tournament and captured both the NCAA Tyler Regional and Super Regional crowns before going 2-2 in Oklahoma City to finish third nationally.

Reed has led the Patriots to a 515-109 record since starting the program in 2005.

The Virginia Wesleyan coaching staff was the pick of its NFCA peers as the top team in the Atlantic Region, while five others that reached the NCAA Division III Championship in Oklahoma City made the list, along with two teams that just missed being among those final eight teams standing.

Virginia Wesleyan (54-3) set an NCAA Division III record for most wins in a season and defeated the Patriots twice facing elimination to reach the best-of-three NCAA Championship Series against St. John Fisher, where it swept the Cardinals to win its first Division III crown.

The Marlins’ lone loss in 12 NCAA tournament games was to the Patriots in their first contest in Oklahoma City. Virginia Wesleyan swept through the NCAA Regionals and NCAA Super Regionals (five games combined) after completing an undefeated (20-0) Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) regular season and going 4-1 en route to its 10th ODAC Tournament title.

St. John Fisher College (44-8) was the Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year after a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship. The Cardinals captured the NCAA Rochester Regional and Super Regional championships after claiming the Empire 8 Tournament. Both of their losses in Oklahoma City came to national titlist Virginia Wesleyan in the Championship Series last Monday. They finished third at the 2016 NCAA Championship in Salem, Va.

Illinois Wesleyan University (37-15) is the Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year after returning to the NCAA Championship for a second straight season, where it tied with Amherst for fifth. The Titans did so after a change from Kat McCreery — who moved out of state and left coaching — to first-year head coach Tiffany Prager. Illinois Wesleyan ranked fifth in the final NFCA Top 25 and won the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament before capturing the NCAA Alma Regional and Lexington Super Regional titles to advance to Oklahoma City.

St. Catherine University (38-14) claimed Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors after advancing to the NCAA Championship following victories in the NCAA Decorah Regional and St. Paul Super Regional. The Wildcats won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament crown and finished No. 7 in the final NFCA Top 25.

Trine University (37-10) is a familiar choice as Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year, following a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championship and NCAA Whitewater Regional and Angola Super Regional titles. The Thunder lost in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament final and was the No. 8 team in the final NFCA Top 25.

Babson College (33-16) was voted the New England Region Coaching Staff of the Year after winning the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Tournament championship and the NCAA Babson Park Regional. The Beavers finished 25th in the final NFCA Top 25 and lost to Williams in the NCAA Williamstown Super Regional.

Ramapo College (32-11) earned East Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors following a season in which it won the NCAA Ithaca Regional after finishing third in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament. Ramapo lost to Amherst in the NCAA Super Regional and ranked 23rd in the final NFCA Top 25.

These eight teams advanced to consideration for the NFCA NCAA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year, with NFCA member voting available until 9 p.m. ET on Friday. The winner will be announced on June 12. UT Tyler was the 2016 recipient.