Phoenix, Arizona – Anyone who has coached for a number of years is sure to achieve some sort of success in his or her sport. Bill Berry is no different; Berry (an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma) was recently named National Coach of the Year in Softball by the Arizona Diamond backs Baseball Organization. Along with Coach of the Year honors, Coach Berry’s team, the Oklahoma Inter-Tribal Travelers 18U fast pitch team, recently won the Native American Basketball Invitational (NABI) Softball Championship on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation in Phoenix, Arizona sponsored by the Diamondbacks. The OIT Travelers also took first place at the Jim Thorpe Games in the 18U Fast Pitch Division at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Berry was honored during the Arizona Diamondbacks/Houston Astros baseball game; the ceremony took place at home plate in front of 35,000 fans. He will receive a plaque with his name engraved on it, a personalized Diamondbacks jersey with his last name, and a monetary check that will go towards the Traveler’s expenses.
There were numerous applicants for NCOY, and the selection committee said Coach Berry’s long list of achievements in the sport of softball and work in the community elevated him to the top of the list. Below is a portion of Coach Berry’s achievements throughout his coaching career and work outside of softball.
- 2012 NABI/AZ Diamondbacks National Softball Coach of the Year
- 2012 Middle West All-State Slow Pitch Coach
- 2012 District 3 Slow Pitch Coach of the Year
- 2000 Large West All-State Fast Pitch Coach
- 2003 Assistant All-State Baseball Coach
- 7 Time Southern Conference Coach of the Year
- 2008 Lake County Conference Coach of the Year
- Coached 20 All-State Softball Players
- Helped over 40 softball players earn a softball scholarship to college
- 1 of 12 High School Softball Coaches Selected across the United States to coach in Hawaii National Softball Tournament
- Named Head Coach of Team Oklahoma for 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
- 1st Place – 2012 Jim Thorpe Games 18U Girls Fast Pitch Championship
- 1st Place – 2012 NABI/Softball Arizona Diamondbacks 18U Girls Fast Pitch Championship
- 2-Time American Indian Exposition Women’s Championship (2010 & 2011)
- 2002 Women’s All-Indian State Tournament Championship
- Worked with North Americans Men’s Fast Pitch Team’s “Straight Arrow” Program (living healthy and staying away from drugs and alcohol)
- Works with Close up Foundation, http://www.closeup.org/default.aspx, each year (chaperones high school students on a trip to Washington, D.C.)
Below are team photo’s of the two championships won by Berry and his squads this summer, Jim Thorpe Games and NABI:
Congrats to Bill Berry and his teams for an outstanding summer!