Cottey Softball Showcases
Head Coach Mark Skapin
Mark Skapin took the reins of the Comets softball program in June 2016 and the turnaround has been tremendous. He led the Comets to back-to-back NJCAA Region XVI Championships and was recognized as the Region XVI Coach of the Year during both campaigns in his first two seasons. In 2018, Cottey led the nation in home runs per game, finished second in the country in slugging percentage, and tenth in the nation in team earned run average. The back-to-back region titles are the first titles in Cottey history and the 15th place ranking in the final national polls is the highest finish in Cottey history.
Prior to joining Cottey, Mark Skapin was the assistant softball coach for Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, North Carolina. At SCC, Skapin served as the hitting and defense coach leading the team to a strong second half finish. Prior to SCC, he was the head varsity softball coach for Holy Name High School in Ohio.
In addition to his coaching duties, Skapin has served as the vice president of the MC Madness Fastpitch Softball Organization since 2007 and as the vice president and girls’ personnel director for the North Ridgeville Baseball and Softball League since 2005. Overall, he has a career tournament fastpitch record of 421-85 with a Triple Crown National Championship in 2015 and multiple top 10 USA national finishes as well.
Skapin outlined his mission statement for the Comet’s softball team: “To seek excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community through competition and a commitment to the development of our important core values.” The core values that Skapin finds critical to success are integrity, responsibility, and passion. One of his keys to success is creating a positive environment in which players are free to play without fear. “We focus on the processes that go into making each student athlete the best they can be on and off the field which requires allowing them to go all out and never be afraid to fail. We are truly a family that encourages and supports one another.”
Assistant Coach Christian Novak
Christian Novak is a tremendous new addition bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program. Christian, a local Nevada talent, graduated from the University of Memphis with a master’s degree in strategic leadership and spent five years as a starting pitcher for the Memphis Tigers. She threw 313 1/3 innings with 230 strikeouts for the Tigers and was recognized as the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the week in 2016 and named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll in 2017. She was an Academic All-American and named to the Academic All-Conference Team from 2014-2018.
Prior to joining the Memphis pitching staff, Christian was a standout student athlete for the Nevada Tigers who earned the 2010 Missouri State Softball Championship. She was named to the All-District Team all four years, the All-Region Team three years, and the All-State Team three times as well.
Christian had an incredible playing career and is now excited to transition into coaching with the Comets. “I’m extremely excited to join the Comet family. Coming back to my hometown and becoming a part of a program with so much support and growth means the world to me. I look forward to bringing new ideas and finding ways to help our pitching staff grow and mature, especially with it being Cottey’s first year as an NAIA program.”