MELBOURNE, Fla.—Long time Florida Tech softball coach Dr. Nancy Bottge touched the lives of many student-athletes during her 11-year tenure guiding the Panther softball program. Her place in Florida Tech history will be forever synonymous with the program’s future as Varsity Field will be re-named in her honor. The Nancy Bottge Field will be dedicated on Saturday, October 14th at 1:00 p.m. in conjunction with Tech’s Fall Homecoming.
“Whenever I see Nancy’s name on the field, I will think of her passion and total dedication for Florida Tech Softball,” said Florida Tech Director of Athletics Bill Jurgens.
In 21 years as a college head coach, Bottge amassed a career record of 501-314-2, giving her a .615 career winning percentage. While at Florida Tech, she also garnered a winning record, amassing an overall record of 316-237-2. Bottge never produced a losing season during her 11 seasons as the Panther her coach. Bottge’s final Florida Tech team posted the best record ever by a Panther softball team, 33-15 (.688).
In June, Bottge was inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame class of 2005-2006. Dr. Bottge received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from William Paterson College and the Master of Arts degree in Physical Education from New York University. She earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Central Florida in 1996.
In addition to her intercollegiate softball participation, Dr. Bottge played semi-professional softball in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Staten Island, New York, for 10 years.
“I have never had the opportunity to meet Nancy, but still, in my eyes, she is a true legend,” stated current Panther head coach Ellie O’Shei. “I am honored to take over the program that she poured her heart and soul into, and I plan to carry on her winning tradition. She will always be remembered and her spirit will always be with us. We want to make her proud.”
She coached more than 200 student-athletes since coming to Florida Tech in 1994. Immediately following the dedication, the Florida Tech softball team will host its annual alumni game. More than 30 of Coach Bottge’s former players will return to honor and join in the celebration of the field dedication.
For more information on the dedication please contact the athletic department at (321) 674-8032 and to view Coach Bottge’s final tribute please click on the following link: http://gopanthers.fit.edu/uploads/_2006/NancyBottge.pdf .