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IRSC Softball Coach Inducted Into NJCAA Hall of Fame

IRSC Softball Coach Inducted Into NJCAA Hall of Fame

May 10, 2023 Jon Pine

FORT PIERCE—Dale Atkinson, longtime women’s softball coach at Indian River State College (IRSC), has been inducted in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coaches Hall of Fame. Atkinson will be recognized along with the other inductees at the NJCAA Foundation Awards ceremony on Thursday, June 8, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.

Dale Atkinson Field Dedication

As IRSC President Timothy Moore looks on, Softball Head Coach Dale Atkinson speaks to the crowd during the dedication of the field named in his honor on April 15, 2023.

The NJCAA Hall of Fame seeks to honor individuals who have paved the way for opportunities at the two-year level—athletically, professionally, and those who have been pioneers throughout the history of the association. Inductees to the Hall of Fame include administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and meritorious contributors and influencers.

“Dale’s accomplishments as a softball coach at IRSC have been nothing short of remarkable,” said IRSC Athletic Director Scott Kimmelman. “But he is far more than a coach—he is a caring individual who believes he has been put on this earth to complete a task, to find the good in all. He is a rare breed.”

In his 25 years as Head Coach, Atkinson has had 1,054 career wins and has seen 208 players named All-Southern Conference, 82 players named Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) All-State, and 27 players named NJCAA All-Americans. Under his leadership, the 2002 team won the National Championship, four teams won state championships, and 18 teams were crowned Southern Conference Champions.

In April, the College’s softball field was renamed the Dale Atkinson Field in honor of his success at IRSC.

Atkinson has been awarded 18 Southern Conference Coach of the Year awards, five NJCAA Region 8A Coach of the Year awards, and three FSCAA Coach of the Year awards. He also received NFCA Coach of the Year honors, and he and his staff were voted National Junior College Coaching Staff of the Year as well as NFCA Southern Region Coaching Staff of the Year. In addition to induction into the FSCAA Hall of Fame, Atkinson has been inducted into the IRSC Pioneer Hall of Fame and the St. Lucie County Athletic Hall of Fame.

Before arriving at IRSC, Atkinson coached the Fillies Fast-pitch softball program for five years. He led the team to the 1996 ISA National Championship Tournament and to the 1997 NSA Florida State Championship tournament.

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