Jones-Sitzmann to receive coaching excellence award
Morningside head softball coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann has been named the recipient of the 2017 Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence by South Dakota State University (SDSU).
Jones-Sitzmann will be honored in conjunction with the Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Oct. 7 at Club 71 inside Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online through the SDSU Alumni Association.
Jones-Sitzmann will be the 40th recipient of the Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence since it was first awarded in 1972. Recipients of the award must be graduates of SDSU and have distinguished themselves in the fields of coaching and education. The award's namesake coached football at South Dakota State from 1947-68, compiling a 113-89-9 record with nine North Central Conference titles in 22 seasons.
The winningest coach in any sport in Morningside history, Jones-Sitzmann has posted a 653-349 career record (.652 winning percentage) in 19 seasons as the Mustangs' head coach. She has led Morningside to 13 30-win seasons, including five 40-win campaigns. The Mustangs have made eight appearances in the NAIA national tournament and won 14 GPAC titles (seven regular season and seven postseason).
In 2016, Jones-Sitzmann led Morningside to its first-ever appearance in the NAIA Softball World Series. The Mustangs, who finished the year with a 47-10 record, won GPAC regular season and postseason tournament championships.
Jones-Sitzmann has been honored as the GPAC Coach of the Year six of the last 10 seasons, including back-to-back honors in 2016 and 2017. Her 2017 squad posted a 40-12 overall record, including a 17-3 mark in league play, en route to another berth in the NAIA national tournament.
A Sioux City, Iowa, native, Jones-Sitzmann played for the Jackrabbits from 1990-93, compiling a 42-39 career record and 1.81 earned run average. Her ERA and wins totals both were SDSU records when she finished her collegiate career and currently rank second and third, respectively, in program history. She was an all-North Central Conference selection each of her last three seasons and was a two-time all-region honoree.