FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Following the most successful season in program history, the Arkansas Razorback coaching staff nabbed its second-consecutive NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year award, the organization announced Thursday.
Head coach Courtney Deifel, assistants Matt Meuchel and Yolanda McRae and volunteer assistant Annie Smith helped skipper the Hogs to their second-straight SEC regular season crown and the program’s first outright regular season title. Arkansas earned the program’s highest overall seed (No. 4) in the NCAA Tournament along with claiming the program’s first SEC Tournament championship. The Razorbacks finished the season with a 48-11 record and the most single-season wins in program history while winning every conference series and hosting the program’s second-consecutive Super Regional.
Deifel captured back-to-back SEC Coach of the Year honors and became just the second head coach in program history to surpass 200 wins.
The Razorbacks tabbed an SEC-best 12 all-conference honors and a school-record five NFCA All-American nods to round out yet another enormous postseason awards haul. Danielle Gibson (First Team) became the program’s first two-time NFCA All-American while KB Sides (First Team), Linnie Malkin (First Team), Hannah Gammill (First Team) and Chenise Delce (Second Team) earned their first All-American honors. All eight NFCA All-Region nominees secured spots on All-South Region teams, which also marks a program record. KB Sides became the first student-athlete in program history to be named SEC Player of the Year and Chenise Delce became the second-straight Razorback to earn SEC Pitcher of the Year.
With Thursday’s recognition, Deifel and company are eligible for the NFCA’s National Coaching Staff of the Year award which will be announced on June 23.
Regional (respective region only) and National Coaching Staffs of the Year are voted on by active member head coaches.
Representing each of the NFCA’s 10 Division I regions, Oklahoma, Northwestern, Virginia Tech, UCF, Nebraska, Boston University, Oregon State, Duke and Arizona State join Arkansas in collecting Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year recognition.