Juneau-Douglas softball coach Dave Massey was selected Wednesday as the West Region Coach of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association after steering the Crimson Bears to Alaska's large-schools state championship.
Massey was one of four regional winners nationwide, while Florida Dunnellon High School coach Kevin Fagan and assistant Susan Williams were selected as the National Coaching Staff of the Year, according to a press release.
The revelation left Massey speechless for a brief period.
"Well, you have taken me by surprise," he said after a long pause. "I guess I'm surprised because I didn't get into this to win awards, but it's good for our program. (The) NFCA is a national program of college, high school and travel ball coaches, and it's a great organization. It's nice to have our program recognized.
"It's certainly an honor for the whole program and I'm proud of our whole coaching staff."
Massey and assistant coaches Glen Alt, Dennis Powers, Brian Buck and Ashley Larson, a Crimson Bears softball alum, helped lead JDHS to a 20-2 record, including an 11-0 win over defending state champion East Anchorage in the state final.
The Crimson Bears outscored opponents 46-18 in five state tournament games, and placed Taylor Larson, Jennifer Nelson and Brittany Fenumiai on the All-Tournament team.
JDHS Activities Director Sandi Wagner said Massey has been an integral part of softball in Southeast.
"Dave has been great for softball in Southeast Alaska, and not just Juneau," she said. "They compete at a high level and I think it's great he was recognized."
The award afforded Massey one more opportunity to reflect on the Bears' stellar season.
"Well, it was a lot of fun. We had some great kids with really good attitudes, and we had good senior leadership," he said. "I thought they played well together and competed."
Massey has been a part of seven state champion and four runner-up teams at JDHS since 1996. He took over the head coaching position in 2000 after serving as an assistant for four years, he said. Since taking the reigns, the Crimson Bears have racked up six titles and two runner-up finishes in 11 seasons.
JDHS will likely find itself in the hunt again in 2011 after graduating just two players from the state tournament roster, Fenumiai, the two-time Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year, and Krista Barril.
West Region - Juneau-Douglas High School (Alaska)
Head Coach: David Massey
Assistant Coaches: Glen Alt, Dennis Powers, Brian Buck and Ashley Larson
East Region - Pearl River High School (N.Y.)
Head Coach: Mike Carlacci
Assistant Coach: Jeanne Donnelly
Junior Varsity Coach: Billy Donnelly
Modified Coach: Lauren Daley
North Region - Riverton Parke High School (Ind.)
Head Coach: Joe Cox
Assistant Coaches: Penny Cox, Randy Wilburn, Dave Chambers and Brandon Grindle
South Central Region - Pearland High School (Texas)
Head Coach: Laneigh Clark
Assistant Coaches: Michelle Hayden and Angela Flores