July 4, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For the second consecutive season, Speedline and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association has named the Florida State softball coaching staff the Southeast Region Staff of the Year. The honor comes on the heels of Florida State’s third place finish in the 2002 Women’s College World Series and No. 4 national ranking.
“This is truly an honor and we are very appreciative,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “It is really a testament to the hard work of our players. They fought all year long and had a wonderful run through the NCAA Regional and World Series. They deserve so much of the credit.”
The 2002 Seminoles had the most successful season since their run to the final four in 1990. Florida State downed No. 1 seed UCLA and No. 6 Nebraska en route to the WCWS semifinals. The Tribe took 2001 National Champions Arizona to 11 innings in the semifinals and the squads’ only two losses in Oklahoma City came to National Champion Cal and Arizona.
The latest honor is just one on a long list of accolades for Graf. The only coach in FSU softball history, Graf broke the NFCA’s All-Time Victory record with the 1,125th of her career and now has 1,168 victories in her 24 years as the Seminoles’ head coach. She coached her fifth First-Team All-American in 2002 and she has now produced 22 All-American selections in her tenure. This was the team’s 15th trip to the NCAA Tournament and sixth trip to the College Worlds Series. Graf is one of just three coaches to ever lead a team to the WCWS in three decades.