When Dave Deiros first came to FGCU the Eagles were an NAIA school with no facilities and no scholarships.
“If when I was hired in July of 2001 and you had told me we would be Division I in 10 years and playing in the NCAA Tournament, I would say you were channeling Nostradamus. There is no way in the world that I had that going through my head,” Deiros said.
The NCAA Tournament is just where the FGCU Eagles are headed. After putting together an 8-0 shutout of No. 2 Kennesaw State the Eagles will make the trip to an NCAA Regional.
“It was just a matter of putting together the best kids that I had. We didn’t have scholarship money at all, we didn’t have facilities on campus,” Deiros said. “We brought kids in that believed and performed at a high level and everyone else came in after them.”
Deiros has been able to put together some great softball teams over the years. However, he says that the when he invites recruits in to visit FGCU, he is extremely straightforward. He tells them exactly what his expectations are and lets the pieces fall as they may.
“We’ve had nine years of players come through here who have laid the foundation. Players who have even come here with the idea that there would be no postseason, and they came here willingly with the idea that we would play the way that we would, play hard, play to win,” Deiros said.
“I have loads of gratitude and loads of respect for everyone who sacrificed before this group getting here and kind of reaping the rewards of all these kids’ hard work. “
Deiros explained that he and his staff have tried to create a culture of playing the game the right way and that they have a certain style of play they adhere to offensively and defensively. He says they try and find players who fit into that mold.
Standout pitcher Shelby Morgan was one of those players that fit the mold Deiros talked about. Morgan was named the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year and she came into the tournament proving that she was deserving of that award.
Morgan was also named the Tournament MVP after striking out six Owls in the championship game and putting together two shutout wins in tournament play. The Eagle freshman improved to 22-6 on the season with the win.
“It feels great, I love my team so much,” said Shelby Morgan, about snagging the A-Sun automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles will find out tomorrow at 10 p.m. where they will be headed in the NCAA tournament, but before that Deiros says his girls are going to go home and relax and soak up the championship win before heading back to work on Tuesday.