California University softball coach Rick Bertagnolli will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame next year. The announcement was made during the association’s convention in Orlando, Fla.
Bertagnolli will be joined by Florida Atlantic’s Joan Joyce, Alabama’s Patrick Murphy and Minnesota State Mankato’s Lori Meyer as 2013 inductees at the 2013 NFCA Convention in San Antonio.
“For me to even be considered with some of the best to ever coach and legends of the game is overwhelming,” said Bertagnolli. “God has blessed my life with many individuals and student-athletes who have made this possible. I am truly humbled and I share this with everyone who has been a part of my coaching career.”
In 29 seasons as a head coach, Bertagnolli has compiled a 929-271 record (.774). In 19 seasons at Cal, which was highlighted by back-to-back national championships in 1997 and ‘98, Bertagnolli has a 667-221 (.751) record.
Bertagnolli has led the Vulcans to five appearances at the NCAA Championships (1994, 1996-99), including two in his first three years prior to winning the first national softball title by PSAC school. Cal is the most-recent softball program to repeat as Division II national champion.
A native of Benld, Ill., Bertagnolli is entering his 20th season with the Vulcans. He has guided Cal to 17 NCAA tournament appearances and 14 PSAC West regular-season titles (1994-03, 2009-12) and five PSAC tournament championships (1996-2000). The Vulcans have won 30 or more games 13 times, including a school-record 53 victories in 1997.
Bertagnolli was the NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year four times, and twice the National Coach of the Year. The team has won 30 or more games 13 times, including a school-record 53 victories in 1997.
Bertagnolli has coached eight players who have been inducted into the Cal U Athletic Hall of Fame, and two – Meaggan Wilton (2000 Sydney) and Megan Timpf (2008 Beijing) – who played for Team Canada in the Olympics.
Prior to joining Cal, Bertagnolli was head coach at South Carolina-Spartanburg (now South Carolina-Upstate) and Wabash Valley College (Ill.). He started his coaching career in 1984 at the high school level and won the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state championship three years later while at Bunker Hill.