June 27, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The Florida State softball coaching staff was named National Fastpitch Coaches Association Southeast Region staff of the year Wednesday after leading the Seminoles to a 58-12 record and a second place finish in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The NFCA last honored head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf and the Florida State staff in 1986 when they were named South Region staff of the year after the Seminoles finished the season ranked ninth in the nation.
“This is a great honor for our staff,” said Graf. “It think it is so wonderful that the NFCA recognizes the whole staff because it would be impossible to experience the kind of success we’ve had at FSU without the help of some great assistant coaches. Louie (Berndt) and Heather (Compton) do a fantastic job and are a big reason we advanced as far as we did in 2001.”
The NFCA honor is another accolade in a long list of awards and accomplishments by the only head coach in the history of Florida State softball. Graf recorded victory No. 1113 last season and is now just 12 wins away from breaking the record for the most wins in the history of Division I softball. She led the 2001 squad to FSU’s 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 16 years, she posted her 23rd consecutive winning season and posted the seventh best winning percentage in the NCAA this past year.
Louie Berndt, in her second season as an assistant coach for FSU, was instrumental in leading the Seminoles to the nation’s 10th best batting average last season. She also helped the FSU offense rank amongst the nation’s leaders in slugging percentage (24th), scoring (26th), doubles (22nd) and triples (16th).
In just her second year with the Seminoles, Heather Compton’s pitchers finished the 2001 campaign with the nation’s best ERA (0.71) for the first time in the history of FSU softball. Two of her pitchers, Jen White-Stokes (6th) and Leslie Malerich (10th), finished in the top 10 for ERA and no school in the country placed two pitchers in the top 10 except for Florida State.
“You really have to give a lot of credit to the girls,” said Compton. “Leslie, Jen and Jessica worked so hard this year and they are the reason we finished as the top pitching staff in the country.”