2017 NFCA Hall Of Fame Inducts Gary Haning; Class Of 2018 Announced

LAS VEGAS — Sheilah Gulas (Ashland University), Gary Haning (OC Batbusters), Vickee Kazee-Hollifield (Carson-Newman University), and Karen Mullins (University of Connecticut) were inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame on Friday evening in Paris Las Vegas' Champagne Ballroom. At the NFCA Convention's marquee event, the quartet of coaches enter as the association's 27th hall of fame class. The induction of Gulas, Haning, Kazee-Hollifield and Mullins brings the hall's membership to 77. 

At the conclusion of the event, NFCA First Vice President Lisa Navas (University of South Carolina) announced the Class of 2018: Salisbury University head coach Margie Knight, North Davidson High School head coach Mike Lambros (posthumously), and University Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly. The banquet and induction ceremony will be held, Friday, December 7, 2018 in Chicago.

Gulas, who retired after the 2017 season, enjoyed a 31-year career as a collegiate head coach, the last 21 years as the Eagles’ skipper. Compiling 30 wins in her final season, she surpassed 900 career victories and won nearly 66 percent of her games with a 929-487-1 record. In her final 21 seasons guiding the Eagles, Gulas collected 723 wins. Additionally, she served as Ashland’s Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator during her final two years at Ashland.

She compiled a winning record in all 21 of her seasons at Ashland, leading the Eagles to 12 NCAA Division II tournaments and collecting five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) titles, and three conference coach of the year awards. In 1998, Gulas guided Ashland to a school-record 53 wins and a No. 3 national ranking. The Eagles collected 40 wins five times during her tenure.

Prior to her stint with Ashland, Gulas made stops as the head coach at Wittenberg (1991-96) and Allegheny (1987-90). In her first head coaching position at Allegheny, she posted a 123-38 mark, guiding the Gators to a national runner-up finish in 1988 and fifth in the country in 1987, 1989 and 1990. Gulas was named the NCAA Division III national coach of the year in 1988 and 1989, and was the regional coach of the year from 1987-89.

Haning is the first Travel Ball member to be inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame. He helped build the Batbusters into one of the most well-known and successful travel ball organizations in the nation, with more than 30 national championships. His team rosters have been a Who’s Who of the top names in softball. 




Under Haning's guidance, four-time All-American and four-time Olympic medalist Laura Berg and her twin sister Randi delivered the Batbusters’ first 18-and-under national title in 1992 on a loaded team that also featured former UCLA standouts Nicole Odom Reis (Reese) and Leah Poulson, former Arizona stars Leah Braatz and Andrea Doty, and Cal-Berkeley star Gillian Boxx. Fellow Olympic star and Women’s College World Series champion Jennie Finch won a 1997 national crown and had a 1998 runner-up finish with the Batbusters, along with teammate Toni Mascarenas. 

Haning also co-founded the hugely successful Premier Girls Fastpitch with Dan Hay.

Kazee-Hollifield has led Carson-Newman to 25 South Atlantic Conference (SAC) crowns, 13 NCAA berths — including seven straight from 2004-11 — and a 2009 Super Regional appearance.

Already a member of the Carson-Newman and SAC Halls of Fame, Vickee has been the Eagles’ only coach, collecting 1,135 career victories over her 32 seasons. Her wins rank sixth and 22nd among Division II and four-year college head coaches, respectively. Kazee-Hollifield's .738 winning percentage ranks inside the top 10 of the Division II coaching annals.

Kazee-Hollifield, the winningest coach in Carson-Newman history, has taken the program she started and has yet to see them suffer a losing season. In 1986, she guided the first-year program to a 21-10 mark and has never looked back, winning over 38 games a year from 1988-92, and grabbing the first two conference titles.       

In addition to her softball prowess, Kazee-Hollifield was a standout basketball player, leading the state of Tennessee in scoring her senior year of high school and later earning selection to the Carson-Newman “Team of the Century” in 1995. She still ranks among the school’s statistical leaders. Kazee-Hollifield is a former head volleyball coach at Carson-Newman, compiling a 59-21 record over three seasons, and an assistant for the basketball program, before concentrating solely on the softball program and serving as the school’s senior woman administrator.    

Mullins, who retired in 2014, won 862 games over 31 seasons leading her alma mater UConn. On her watch, the Huskies went to eight NCAA tournaments, and advanced to the Women’s College World Series in 1993, when the Huskies won a school-record 45 games and finished a run of five straight NCAA appearances from 1989-93. UConn also qualified in 1995, 1996 and 2001.

During her tenure, UConn advanced four times to the NCAA regional championship game, winning the NCAA regional title in 1993 en route to its berth in the Women’s College World Series. In a five-year span from 1989-93, Mullin’s Huskies were one of only nine Division I softball programs to qualify for each of the five NCAA tournaments. 

UConn captured seven Big East tournament titles and four regular-season crowns, while collecting 235 league wins.

Mullins is a former player for both the Huskies’ softball and basketball teams, as well as a former nationally-recognized Major League Fastpitch Softball infielder and the co-founder of the Single-A Major Waterford (Conn.) Mariners softball team.

Playing for Emily: Forney Tributes Every Game To Teammate Galiano

Shortly after the Forney High (Texas) Jackrabbits won the 2018 State 5A softball championship last May, Madison Galiano accepted the championship trophy at home plate. 

Beloved Batbusters Softball Coach Mark Campbell Passes Away

At 5:30 AM Monday morning, the softball community lost one of the legendary softball coaches of Southern California with the passing of OC Batbusters and Pacifica High School Coach Mark Campbell. 

THE Spring Games Weekly Viewing Guide

null

THE Spring Games is back. With almost 400 college softball teams participating, THE Spring Games is undoubtedly the largest college softball event in the world.

Heart Over Height, Julie Graf Makes Her Mark At St. Olaf

Download The FloSports iOS App Today

Even though she grew up in Sammamish, Washington, St. Olaf College righthander Julie Graf was an avid New York Yankees fan. It had more to do with her parents, Paul and Barb, being East Coast transplants and lifelong fans themselves than anything else (with all due respect to the major league team 30 minutes away).

Will Norco Softball Dominate & Capture Another CIF Title?

Download The FloSports iOS App Today

Heading into last weekend’s Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in the Arizona desert, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation, the Norco HS Cougars, had previously returned home to Riverside County with the tournament championship three times.

No. 24 Indianapolis Shuts Out Urbana & Minnesota Duluth

The No. 24 UIndy softball team (17-5) had a particularly memorable pitching day Wednesday, as sophomore Halie Waters and freshman Amy Kaniewski combined to allow just four hits in a pair of shutout wins at THE Spring Games. In their final day of competition in the Sunshine State, the Greyhounds topped both Urbana and Minnesota Duluth by identical scores of 3-0.

No. 22 Southern New Hampshire Sweeps Molloy At THE Spring Games

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

No. 22 Southern New Hampshire sweeps Molloy.

No. 2 Illinois Wesleyan Takes Down Amherst & Millsaps

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The No. 2-ranked Illinois Wesleyan softball team defeated Millsaps College, 2-1, and downed Amherst, 8-0, on the team's second day of action at THE Spring Games in Clermont, Fla., on Wednesday, March 13.

Moving Up In The Rankings, Augustana Finishes Strong At THE Spring Games

null

Playing for the final time during their spring break trip in Florida, the No. 18 Augustana softball team made a significant statement on the diamond. The Vikings picked up a pair of wins, starting with an 8-0 win over Nyack (NY), and closing out the day with a 12-0 no-hitter over Millersville (PA). Augustana picks up their eighth straight win and moves to 16-4 (0-0 NSIC) on the year.

What To Watch: Illinois Wesleyan vs. Rowan Rematch At THE Spring Games

null

This week’s action at the Spring Games in Clermont, Florida will feature a Saturday evening matchup between last season’s NCAA Division III Runner-up Illinois Wesleyan and reigning New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Champion Rowan.