Fresno State earns NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year

Release courtesy of Fresno State Athletics.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The 2016 Fresno State softball coaching staff has been tabbed the Pacific Region Coaching Staff of the Year, as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on Monday. The staff led the `Dogs to a 42-12-1 overall record, the program's second-straight Mountain West title and an appearance at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional.

Receiving the prestigious award is Fresno State softball head coach Trisha Ford, assistant coaches Sara Pickering and Carly Wynn, volunteer assistant Jeff Harger, student manager Andrew Rich and director of operations Taylor Green. This is the first regional coaching honor for the Bulldogs as Oregon has garnered the award for the past three years, and California in 2011 and `12.

Reigning MW Coach of the Year, Ford recently wrapped up her fourth season at the helm of the Bulldog softball program, guiding the team to a 23-game win streak that included a perfect 15-0 record during the month of April. Fresno State saw 14-straight weeks ranked in the top 25 and notably earned five NFCA All-Region honors, five individual conference accolades and seven members named All-MW in 2016.

"Playing for this coaching staff has been life changing," former Bulldog catcher Paige Gumz said. "It's not every day you meet a group of people willing to take time out of their day and away from their families to make you a better athlete and person. This staff takes an interest in each and every one of their players, develops invaluable relationships and makes their athletes a top priority. Sadly, my four years are over, but the lessons they've taught me will stay with me forever. They're the type of role models to go to when you want to be a better person and for that I am grateful. I'd give anything to play for them one last time."

Fresno State is joined by nine highly successful programs honored by the NFCA as Division I Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, including five that reached the 2016 Women's College World Series - Oklahoma (Central Region, National Champion), Michigan (Great Lakes), Alabama (South), Auburn (Southeast) and UCLA (West). The list rounds out with Notre Dame (Mid Atlantic), North Dakota State (Midwest) and the University of South Florida (Mideast).

The 10 Division I coaching staffs are now eligible for the NFCA's National Coaching Staff of the Year award, which will be announced on June 29.