Weaver, Falcons' Braintrust Honored Once More By NFCA
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Starkville, MS — Another outstanding softball season once again culminated with a prestigious award, as the Falcons’ 2011 braintrust was named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III East Region Coaching Staff of the Year, the school announced Wednesday.
Head coach Amy Weaver led Messiah to a 39-7 record overall and the program’s fourth appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championships, capturing the Ithaca Regional Championship before competing in the eight-team, double-elimination title event in Salem, Virginia.
Assistants Alex Quigley, Sam McLoota, Jen Thuma and Dana Randall helped the program to its fifth appearance in NCAA post-season play under Weaver (and seventh overall), bringing the Falcons win-loss record to a remarkable 120-20 record over the last three years alone.
“It’s an honor to be named the East Region Coaching Staff of the Year,” Weaver said. “The best part about the award is that it is a true coaching staff award. Our assistant coaches are an enormous part of our program in every way imaginable. They’re as responsible for our success as anyone. It’s just a great award in that it honors all of our coaches. The time they put in and the work they do really is incredible.”
Thuma has spent the longest time with Weaver, first playing at Messiah before joining as an assistant in 1999. A two-time All-American, Thuma was also named to the 1998 NCAA Division III World Series All-Tournament team, batting an incredible .636 over the weekend.
Quigley, in his sixth year, and McCloota, in his fourth, have paid major dividends, as Quigley serves as the Falcons’ pitching coach while McCloota works primarily with the outfielders. Randall joined the staff in 2010, returning to her alma after playing alongside Weaver for one year at Messiah.
“Our staff has fundamental similarities, but we have different ways of getting a message across,” Weaver said. “I think that is beneficial to our players, and it really helps throughout the course of a season.”
The regional coaching staff of the year honor was the third in Weaver’s tenure, joining accolades in 2009 and 1999. In the former, Weaver and company earned the NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year honor after leading the program to its first NCAA Division III National Championship.
Linfield College earned the 2011 Division III NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year award, after finishing 51-3 overall and winning the program’s second national championship in five years.