Ninemire Inducted into 2009 NFCA Hall of Fame Class
Dec. 13, 2008
BERKELEY - California softball head coach Diane Ninemire was announced as one of three members to be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's 2009 Hall of Fame class on Saturday. The announcement was made at the NFCA's annual convention being held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida.
Ninemire, who joined Frank Cheek of Humboldt State University and Bill Edwards of Hofstra University, will be inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame on Friday, December 11 of next year, at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. The 2009 class will bring the NFCA's Hall of Fame to 50 members.
Entering her 22nd year in the Cal dugout, Ninemire guided the Golden Bears to seven straight trips to the College World Series (1999-2005), winning the national championship in 2002. She has led Cal to 21 straight NCAA Regional appearances, and won her 900th career game last season versus Long Beach State. She has accumulated the second-most wins in Pac-10 history (932) and is the 11th softball coach in NCAA history with 900 or more wins.
During Ninemire's tenure at Cal, 34 All-America, 86 all-region, and 140 all-conference certificates have been issued to student-athletes. Two of Ninemire's former players - Michele Granger and Gillian Boxx - were four-time All-Americans and helped the United States win a Gold Medal as members of the 1996 Olympic Team in Atlanta. Former Bear Vicky Galindo, who Ninemire coached, was named to the 2008 15-member Olympic Team roster and earned a silver medal.
History was made in 2002 when Ninemire helped direct Cal to its first NCAA Championship at the WCWS with a 6-0 win over the Arizona Wildcats, the first women's title in Cal athletic program history. The 2002 team set a school record for wins (56), while Jocelyn Forest claimed the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honor, and Ninemire was chosen as the NFCA National Coach of the Year. Cal became the first Pac-10 team other than UCLA and Arizona to win the softball national title. Forest went undefeated in Cal's postseason run and completed the WCWS with a 4-0 record, 0.50 earned run average and 33 strikeouts in 28.0 innings.
Ninemire has enjoyed plenty of other memorable moments along her career path. In 2005, Cal won a share of the Pac-10 title (a first for a Ninemire squad), and advanced to its seventh consecutive WCWS. The 2004 version of the Bears were one of Ninemire's most successful and most decorated groups, as four All-Americans and eight All-Pac-10 selections helped drive Cal to its third consecutive WCWS championship game appearance. In 2001, Cal began the season 32-0 before finishing fifth at the WCWS. Under Ninemire, Cal has also finished third (1999), fifth (1992, 1996) and seventh (2000) at the WCWS.
2008 saw the Golden Bears reach the 40-win plateau for the ninth time in the last 10 years and berth to the NCAA postseason for the 23rd consecutive season. The Bears won the Fresno Regional with a dramatic 7-6 victory over Fresno State in the deciding game to advance to their third Super Regional. Cal had six all-conference performers and three all-regional selections, and set top 10 team records in runs, RBI and hits.