NJCAA Softball Hall of Fame Tabs Charlie Dine and Heinz Mueller for 2013 Class
December 3, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The NJCAA Softball Coaches Association has selected former Arizona Western head coach Charles Dine and current Phoenix (Ariz.) head coach Heinz Mueller to its hall of fame for 2013. Both Dine and Mueller will be honored this week at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Serving as Arizona Western’s athletic director, Dine took over the head coaching duties for the Matador softball program out of necessity in 1982 and led the program for 11 seasons. During that time he led Arizona Western to the NJCAA Softball Championship Tournament three times. His teams won national championships in 1983 and ’87 and also finished as the national runner-up in ’86. He earned national coach of year honors in ’83 and ’87 as well.
Dine finished his career at AWC with 248 wins and 99 losses, which at the time ranked in the top 10 in NJCAA history for most career wins. He also coached eight first-team All-Americans.
Softball was not the only tie to the NJCAA for Dine. He played center on Boise Junior College’s (Idaho) 1958 NJCAA Championship football team. After two years of stellar play at Utah State, he began coaching high school football and wrestling in Utah. In 1970 he served as Ray Butcher’s defensive coordinator at Arizona Western and helped the program win two conference championships and the NJCAA national title in 1972. He would later serve as Arizona Western’s head football coach from 1975-78 and 1996-97.
In addition to his duties at Arizona Western, Dine was an active leader for softball in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. He was instrumental in starting a preseason invitational softball tournament called the Great Western Shootout, which today is still considered one of the top events in NJCAA softball.
Dine passed away in the fall of 2004 after battling myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare genetic bone marrow disorder.
There is little that Mueller has not accomplished in NJCAA softball. One of only three coaches in NJCAA history to reach 1,000 wins, Mueller has led Phoenix to eight Division II national championships since taking over the Bears softball program 24 years ago. Since 2000, Phoenix has captured 12 Region I championships, eight national titles, including five straight from 2004-08, and finished as the national runner-up twice (2009, ’13).
Winning national titles is not the only thing Mueller’s program has been recognized for. Phoenix softball has consistently been one of the top academic teams in the NJCAA and 45 of his players have earned individual NJCAA academic honors.
Mueller has coached 98 NJCAA All-Americans and has helped over 140 of his players attain scholarships to four-year colleges/universities. He has received the NJCAA Coach of the Year honor eight times, the NFCA Speedline Coaching Staff of the Year Award on four occasions and was inducted into the Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame in the spring of 2013.
About the NJCAA
Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. The NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.