Story by Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications & Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oklahoma City head softball coach Phil McSpadden is the 2017 NAIA Softball National Coach of the Year for the second-straight season and 10th overall time, announced today by the NAIA national office. McSpadden led the Stars to their NAIA-record 10th overall national championship title after a 4-1 victory over Corban (Ore.) on June 1.
McSpadden engineered a 68-1 team, which is one victory shy of the NAIA record set by the Stars during the 1999 season. The wins total marked the sixth time in McSpadden's career the club went over 60 victories in a season. Oklahoma City started 2017 with a 47-game win streak, only to be stopped with a loss April 18 against NCAA Division II powerhouse and sixth-ranked West Texas A&M. That win streak established a new NAIA record for longest such stretch of victories.
The 10 NAIA Coach of the Year plaques for McSpadden is the most in NAIA history. He
completed his 30th year and stands with a 1,613-367 mark, which ranks No. 1 on the all-time college coaching wins list against four-year schools at any level (NAIA, NCAA). McSpadden notched his 1,600th career win against Science & Arts (Okla.) on April 25. He officially set the all-time coaching wins record during the middle of the 2015 season.
Under McSpadden's direction, the Stars ranked first in the NAIA statistically in runs scored per game (7.7), team pitching ERA (0.69), total hits (730), RBIs (474) and stolen bases (170). Individually, senior infielder Kali Pugh was tabbed the 2017 NAIA Player of the Year as she joined five other teammates (four on First Team; one on Second Team) on the NAIA All-America Teams. Pugh was the NAIA leader in total bases (210) and runs scored (95).
McSpadden is a member of three prestigious Hall of Fames, which include the NAIA, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and Oklahoma City University Athletics.
Prior to coming to Oklahoma City in 1988, McSpadden coached at Ponca City and Dewey High Schools in Oklahoma, compiling an impressive 127-40 record in five years while leading teams at both schools to state tournaments. While at Dewey, his teams won the school's first three crowns in any sport.
MCSPADDEN BY THE NUMBERS
10 national championships
4 national runner-up finishes
28 national tournament appearances
21 50-win seasons
6 60-win seasons
69 career-high total of wins in 1999 for NAIA single-season record
10 national coach of the year awards
6 national players of the year
3 national pitchers of the year
5 national catchers of the year
* some information in this article courtesy of Oklahoma City University Sports Information Department