STARKVILLE, Miss. - Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy, associate head coach Alyson Habetz, assistant coach Stephanie VanBrakle, volunteer assistant coach Adam Arbour, student assistant coach Whitney Larsen and director of operations Kate Harris of the 2012 NCAA Division I National Champions Alabama softball team have been named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced.
The Crimson Tide went 60-8 on the year and battled back from a 0-1 deficit in the WCWS Championship Series to capture the first softball national championship in school and Southeastern Conference history
Alabama turned in a 23-5 record in the always tough SEC, capturing its third-consecutive regular season championship and first tournament title since 2010. The tournament title was the fifth for the Tide, making it the first host team to ever hoist the tournament trophy.
Hosting both the regional and super regional rounds in Tuscaloosa, the second-seeded Tide made good use of its home field advantage to go 5-0 over both rounds. Alabama tallied wins over UT Martin and South Alabama in the regionals and two over perennial-power Michigan in super regional play to advance to its eighth Women's College World Series.
Once in Oklahoma City, Alabama topped conference rival Tennessee, defending champion Arizona State and top-seeded California to advance to the WCWS Championship Series for the first time in school history. Alabama dropped the first game of the series to Oklahoma, but won the next two games to bring home the national title to Tuscaloosa - just the second to be won east of the Mississippi River.
Helping lead the way for Alabama this season was 2012 Louisville Slugger NFCA First-Team All-American and WCWS Most Outstanding Player sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina. Traina ended her 2012 campaign with record of 42-3, a 1.87 ERA and 361 strikeouts. Her 42 wins led the nation and was a school record.
Through 14 seasons with the Tide, Murphy has amassed a 744-198 record with a NCAA tournament appearance in each of 14 years, eight WCWS appearances, eight SEC West championships, five SEC tournament titles, four SEC regular-season titles and a national championship.
For their work this season, Murphy and staff also earned the South Region Coaching Staff of the Year award for the fifth consecutive season.