By Sam Knehans, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Crystal Rosenthal of Concordia (Calif.) has been honored as the 2013 NAIA Softball National Coach of the Year, the national office announced Friday. In her five years as head coach, Rosenthal (pictured top left) has led the Eagles to four NAIA National Championship tournaments, culminating with the first national championship title in school history in 2013.
“This award honors our program, team, and coaching staff,” said Rosenthal. “We’ve had an outstanding two years and it’s been a lot of work, but it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our administration and athletic department. Our coaching staff has put in countless hours with me, and this team, and they love this program. I really appreciate this award and I am excited for the program.”
A four-year player at Concordia, Rosenthal has established a tradition of winning at her alma mater. She has won at least 40 games in each of her five seasons as head coach, including 50-win seasons in 2012 and 2013. Rosenthal has also been named the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Coach of the Year in each of the past two seasons.
The Eagles compiled a 52-3 record en route to the national championship this year, earning their second consecutive GSAC title and winning their second straight GSAC/Cal-Pac Conference Tournament Championship along the way. Over the past two seasons, the Eagles have amassed a 108-7 record, winning an NAIA softball record 44 consecutive games during that span.
While at Concordia, Rosenthal has coached seven NAIA All-Americans, two GSAC Player and Pitcher of the Year award winners and 18 All-GSAC selections. In 2013, Rosenthal mentored two NAIA All-Americans: Shainna Groom and Katie Cotta, who was also named the NAIA Pitcher of the Year.
After just five years as the Eagles head coach, Rosenthal ranks second all-time in wins (238) and first in winning percentage (.796). Her teams have set school season records in wins (56), runs scored (482), batting average (.382), hits (606), doubles (105), triples (21), home runs (84), RBIs (430), stolen bases (126), ERA (.63) and strikeouts (445).
A 2008 inductee into the Concordia Athletics Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as a player, Rosenthal is making an even bigger name for herself as a coach after bringing the school its first softball All-American, its first NAIA National Championship and now its first NAIA Softball Coach of the Year honor.