National Fastpitch Coaches Association honors Simpson coach

National Fastpitch Coaches Association honors Simpson coach

by Brandon OrtaleStaff Writer

Simpson softball head coach Henry Christowski will be the first Simpson coach to be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame.

Along with being Simpson’s only coach honored, Christowski will be only the fourth coach to enter the Hall of Fame out of the Iowa Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, 2007 in Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Cristowski expects to receive a plaque commemorating his induction.

Christowski started out as a high school softball coach in Norwalk, Indianola and Dowling.

“The big difference between high school softball and Division III is the overall attitudes of players,” Christowski said. “The girls at Simpson are here to play and want to compete, plus you get the cream of the crop.”

Christowski is in his 12th season at Simpson with a record 368-90-2, which is the eighth best winning percentage in the history of softball in all divisions.

Christowski is the only coach in NCAA softball history to amass 200 wins in his first five years as head coach. He has already been inducted into the Iowa Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999.

Christowski will be entering the NFCA Hall of Fame with Judy Groff, American International College head coach, and George Wares, Central College head coach.

“Having a coach from the same conference has never happened,” Christowski said.

According to Christowski, a committee weighs various nominated candidates from any divison. Sports Information Director Matt Turk nominated Christowski for the NFCA Hall of Fame.

“I sent the nomination in 2000 and that shows the long process or the difficulty of being inducted in,” Turk said.

Christowski found out about his induction in late December 2006 from a phone call.

Christowski doesn’t have any ambition to win honors, but finds the competition and winning to be more thrilling.

“For me the next game to compete in is more important,” Christowski said.

According to Christowski, the main reason he’s successful is because he enjoys what he does.

“I enjoy seeing individuals succeed through development and lessons,” Christowski said. “It’s fun to see the players not only contribute in a game, but in society as well. If softball stops being fun for me, then I will get out.”

Assistant Athletic Director Ron Peterson believes Christowski has created a distinguished softball program at Simpson.

“Coach Christowski has proven to be a consistent winner at all the places he has been,” Peterson said. “He has had some of the top athletes to have come out of Division III.”