LOUISVILLE, KY. -- The Trine University softball coaching staff has been named the 2019 Central Region "Coaching Staff of the Year" by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
Texas Lutheran University took top honors in the West, while four other teams that reached the NCAA championship in Tyler, Texas, garnered recognition in their regions. Third-place finishers Trine and Eastern Connecticut State were the pick of their peers in the Central and New England regions, respectively, while fifth-place finisher Illinois Wesleyan was the Great Lakes honoree, and seventh-place finisher St. Thomas was the pick in the Midwest.
Head Coach Donnie Danklefsen, along with Assistant Coaches Brittany Harvey and Dennis Smith, captured their third accolade in the last four years, also winning regional honors in 2016 and 2017. The Thunder advanced to their third NCAA championship finals in the last six years under Danklefsen, who has guided the team to 12 consecutive NCAA regionals, and four super regionals over the last six seasons.
The Thunder ended their season tied for third in the nation finishing with a 37-8 record. The finish marks the best in program history and the best by a Trine team during its NCAA era, which began in 2004.
The eight coaching staffs move forward to consideration for NFCA Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year which will be announced on June 17.