The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has announced that the Luther College coaching staff has been named the 2018 Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year. This is the fifth time in the past nine years the Luther staff has been so honored. The Luther staff was also recognized for this award in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Under head coach Renae Hartl, associate head coach Teri Olson, and assistant coaches Tracy Hjelle, Miranda McCay and Kristen Winter, plus student assistants Bella Alverado and Steph Meyer, Luther collected the Midwest Region award after going 43-11 to set a school record for wins and finishing a program-best third in its fifth appearance at the NCAA Championship with Hartl at the helm.
The Norse were a remarkable 23-4 in neutral-site games, including three victories in Oklahoma City, and dealt national runner-up Illinois Wesleyan its lone loss at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex prior to the championship finals.
Hartl just completed her 17th season and has compiled a record of 557-182 for a winning percentage of .753. During her tenure the Norse have won five Iowa Conference titles, seven Iowa Conference Tournament titles and have made 11 appearances in the National Tournament including a string of the last 10 years in a row.