Bellevue skipper Leah Francis and her staff named National NFCA NWAC Coaching Staff of the Year
L-R: assistant Sarah Hyatt, head coach Leah Francis, assistant Danielle Orvella
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Behind a NWAC regular season title and a third-place finish at the league championships, Bellevue College head coach Leah Francis, along with assistant coaches Sarah Hyatt and Danielle Orvella have been named the 2016 NFCA NWAC National Coaching Staff of the Year, announced the Association on Friday afternoon.
Bellevue closed out 2016 with a 41-8 record and finished No. 1 in the NWAC Coaches' Poll. The Bulldogs entered the NWAC tournament as the top seed and finished with a 4-2 mark to earn a third-place showing, their highest in program history. Bellevue opened with wins over Olympic College and Columbia Basin before dropping its first contest to eventual-runner up Douglas, 4-2. Two more wins, including a late come-from-behind victory over Clackamas, put the Bulldogs in the tournament semifinals where they were defeated by Douglas, 8-6.
Under the guidance of the 12-year skipper, Rachel Delamare was tabbed a NFCA All-American outfielder and nine Bulldogs garnered all-North Region honors, including Delamare- the Most Valuable Player- and Ciera Lockwood earning Most Valuable pitcher recognition. For her efforts, Francis was named North Region Coach of the Year. In her 12 years at the helm, Francis, a University of Washington graduate, has led the program to a 431-116 record and a .798 winning percentage. Francis celebrated her 400th win against Mt. Hood earlier this year.