COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After leading Rock Valley (IL) to its fourth national championship in six seasons, head coach Misty Opat has been named the 2017 Spalding® NJCAA Division III Women’s Coach of the Year.
Opat guided the Golden Eagles to a 33-2 record this season and boasted the No. 1 seed in the national tournament. In tournament play Rock Valley dominated their first two opponents, defeating Brookdale (NJ) 74-46 and Mohawk Valley (NY) 68-47, before edging past defending national champion Roxbury (MA) 57-49 in overtime in the finals.
Opat took over the reins of the Rock Valley program in 2009 and has led the Golden Eagles to four national titles (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017), a national runner-up finish (2014) and six Region 4 championships. In her seven seasons leading the program, Opat boasts on overall record of 184-79 (.700).
Prior to her arrival at Rock Valley, Opat spent several years as an NJCAA DI assistant coach at UI Chicago, Fresno State and Kansas.
To go along with her head coaching duties, Opat is also the athletic director at Rock Valley – a post she has held since 2011.
Photo courtesy of Northampton Athletics
Since the 2013-14 season, Spalding has sponsored the NJCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Coach and Player of the Year awards. Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as well as the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the NJCAA and Little League World Series® and the official volleyball of the King of the Beach® Volleyball Tour. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, baseballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley® brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.