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Saturday, December 10, 2016

2017 NFCA Hall of Fame Class Announced

Announced at the Hall of Fame banquet at the NFCA convention in New Orleans last evening, the induction class of 2017 will include a quartet of coaches, a group that includes longtime UConn head coach Karen Mullins.

Mullins will be joined in induction by Carson-Newman coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield; Ashland University coach Sheilah Gulas; and longtime OC Batbusters head Gary Haning.


Vickee Kazee-Hollifield will headline the four-member Class of 2017.
Photo via cneagles.com
Kazee-Hollifield owns more than one thousand career wins, more than 1/3 of the more than 2,800 cumulative victories between the three collegiate coaches. She is the winningest coach in South Atlantic Conference (Division II) and owns twenty-three conference titles during her time leading the program. She has eleven times earned the conference's Coach of the Year moniker and appeared in twelve NCAA tournaments.

Mullins spent thirty-one seasons at the helm of the UConn Huskies, leading the program to more than 860 victories and eight NCAA tournament appearances. It was under her guidance that the program reached the World Series in 1993. She presided over seven Big East tournament-winning teams and four that won the conference regular season title outright. The Huskies advanced to the NCAA tournament in five straight seasons, from 1989-1993, including the afore-mentioned World Series berth in '93. Mullins, a UConn grad, is the owner of 872 career victories, including her time at UConn and at Nichols College (1980-81).

Gulas enters 2017 just a single victory shy of 900 for her career. She has collected nearly seven hundred of her wins at Ashland, where she has spent the last two decades. The Eagles have never suffered a losing season under Gulas' leadership, and from 2009-2015, the squad went to the NCAA postseason every year, a streak of seven consecutive seasons. Prior to Ashland, Gulas coached at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania from 1987-1990, where she collected 123 victories and was the national Coach of the Year for Division III in 1988 and 1989. She also spent the 1991-1996 seasons at Wittenberg, where she coached women's soccer along with softball.

Haning's name is nearly synonymous with the Batbusters organization, and after thirty years of intimate involvement with the program, as well it should. The program enjoyed vast success during Haning's time as head coach, including several national titles and runners-up finishes; the Batbusters also saw many future household names in the sport come through the organization during that time, including all-time greats Laura Berg; Gillian Box; and Jennie Finch, to name a few. In more recent times, 2016 Division I Freshman of the Year and all-American Amanda Lorenz is a Batbuster alumni.

The quartet will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2017 NFCA Convention.

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