AUM’s Newell, Wilkes earn NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year Honor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (—- Auburn Montgomery head softball coach Eric Newell and assistant Scottie Wilkes were recognized Monday afternoon as one of six programs to earn NFCA NAIA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

Newell currently boasts a 352-136 (.721) career record, and has totaled a 98-14 (.875) record while wearing the orange and black. He and Wilkes were named the NFCA Coaching Staff of the East, and are currently competing in the 36th annual NAIA Softball World Series in Sioux City, Iowa.

Wilkes is currently in her third season as the assistant for the softball program, and was the graduate assistant in 2013. She has totaled a 187-34 (.846) total record with an 82-14 (.854) showing in Southern States Athletic Conference play in her time with the Warhawks.

This season, the duo have coached five All-Conference selections, including three First-Team members, won the SSAC Conference Tournament for the first time in program history, remained flawless in Opening Round play to advance to the World Series, won the Gulf Shores Invitational Gold Bracket for the first time and has set a school-record for being the first team in program history with 50 wins.

The pair was named the NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year last season, after defending their title to win back-to-back National Championships. Also claiming All-Region honors this season were Doane College (Central), St. Xavier University (Great Lakes), Central Methodist University (Midwest), Oklahoma City University (Southwest) and Southern Oregon University (West).

St. Xavier and Oklahoma City are still alive in the NAIA World Series, as are the Warhawks.

Newell, Wilkes and the Warhawks will return to action later today, on Monday, May 30, where they will face No. 6 seeded and No. 10 ranked Southeastern at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to the Winner’s Bracket Championship, while the loser will face the winner of game 10.