Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee Community College’s softball coaching staff has been named NJCAA Division I South Region Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
Head coach Patti Townsend, along with assistants Jennifer McKibben and Jennifer Whitley and graduate assistant Shea Lodes, received the award after leading the Eagles to a 41-22 record in 2011 and a third-place finish at the NJCAA Division I Softball National Tournament.
Townsend, who just finished her eighth season as Tallahassee’s head coach, was named the Florida College System Activities Association’s (FCSAA) Gulf District Coach of the Year in 2011. Earlier in the year, she recorded her 200th career NJCAA victory – all at Tallahassee.
McKibben, Whitley and Lodes all played with the Eagles before graduating from TCC and continuing their careers as student-athletes at the four-year level. Ironically, all three played catcher during their days in a Tallahassee uniform.
Tallahassee qualified for the national tournament after sweeping through the FCSAA Gulf District (NJCAA Region 8b) Tournament with a perfect 4-0 record. The Eagles defeated Polk State College, 2-0, in the championship game.
At the NJCAA Tournament, Tallahassee picked up wins over Butler (Kan.) Community College and Miami Dade College before suffering its first loss to top-ranked and eventual national champion Yavapai. The Eagles responded with wins over Darton (Ga.) College and Blinn, the latter of which moved Tallahassee into the tournament’s third-place game against Salt Lake (Utah) Community College.
Despite falling to Salt Lake, the third-place finish was the best in Tallahassee’s fastpitch history.
In addition to Tallahassee, the NFCA recognized the coaching staffs at Yavapai (Ariz.) College and Blinn (Texas) College as region winners. All three are now eligible for National Coaching Staff of the Year, which will be announced by the NFCA on June 16.