The founding father of FGCU softball, David Deiros enters his 13th season as head coach. Hired in 2001 to build the program from the dirt up, Deiros has since guided the Eagles to 11 seasons with a winning record, eight campaigns with 35+ wins and a win percentage of .699 (489-211-3).
The 2014 Eagles finished with a 33-26-1 and wins over SEC, Big 10, Big East, and ACC opponents. FGCU finished their season with an RPI ranking in the top-100 for the 3rd consecutive season and the 5th time in their seven years at Division I. They made their third Atlantic Sun Tournament appearance in three years of eligibility and valiantly finished 3rd in the tournament. Despite falling in their opening game to eventual champion Stetson, FGCU rattled off consecutive victories against Kennesaw State and regular season champion USC Upstate 8-7. Needing one more win to make it to the championship game, the Eagles’ season came to a heartbreaking halt with a 2-1 loss to Mercer in 11 innings.
The Eagles saw three members of the squad earn all-conference distinction and two others earn conference academic awards. As a unit, the team posted a 3.51 grade point average in the fall and saw as four members of the team posted perfect 4.0 GPAs during the spring semester.
In FGCU's second season of post-season eligibility, the Eagles went 36-18, earned their highest RPI ranking (55) since 2009, and helped the Atlantic Sun Conference rank as the 7th best conference in the country. They seemed to save their best performances until the end of games as they set a school record by winning 13 games in their final at-bat (11 by walk-off). Their 16-8 record in Atlantic Sun Conference competition earned them a third place finish, just a half game out of second and one and a half games out of first. The FGCU Softball team has now finished the regular season in third place or higher in each of its six seasons in the Atlantic Sun and qualified for their second consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.
In 2012, FGCU's first season of post-season eligibility, the Eagles won their second Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title. Appearing in their first conference tournament, FGCU swept all three opponents to win the title and earn the conference's NCAA Championship automatic bid. The Eagles traveled to Gainesville for their first NCAA Regional Tournament proceeded to defeat the Gators in their opening game. The upset win marked the first NCAA Tournament victory by FGCU in any sport in their Division I era.
Deiros guided FGCU through the transition into NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2008, leading the Eagles to a conference regular season championship in their first season with a 48-16 overall record and 16-6 league mark. FGCU missed pulling off a repeat in 2009 by one game to finish in second place.
Overall, FGCU is 101-49 in the A-Sun thanks in part to 36 sweeps in their 67 series played. The Eagles own a 6-4 record in the A-Sun Tournament with one championship in 2012 and a 3rd finish last season. Individual A-Sun Conference accolades have also racked up in the Eagles’ seven years of membership, highlighted by four winners of the Conference Player of the Year award (Carmen Paez-2008, Cheyenne Jenks-2009, Courtney Platt-2011, and Chelsea Zgrabik-2013) and one winner of the Conference Pitcher of the Year (Shelby Morgan-2012). In all, Deiros has coached 84 A-Sun Academic All-Conference selections, four A-Sun All-Academic Team selections, 14 All-Conference first-team choices, eight second- team picks and eight All-Freshmen team honorees.
FGCU spent its first five seasons (2003-07) at the NCAA Division II level. In their final two seasons at Division II, the Eagles amassed 120 victories, including a school record and NCAA-leading 62 wins in 2007 and consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. During the Blue and Green’s time in Division II, Deiros was a three-time Division I-II All-Independent Coach of the Year by the ICAA.
FGCU has also made an impact on the national level by finishing the 2008 season with an RPI rank of No. 40 and continued its meteoric rise in 2009 by finishing the year ranked in the top 30. During his tenure, Deiros has coached four district All-Academic team members, nine (19) All-South Region players, one South Region Player of the Year, three All-Americans (Ashley Cecil-2005, Paez-2007, Jenks-2009), two top 25 Finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year (Paez-2008, Jenks-2009), and one Daktronics National Player of the Year (Paez-2007).
The 2008 A-Sun Championship campaign saw the Eagles lead the A-Sun race from wire-to-wire, compiling a 16-6 record. FGCU’s prodigious offense continued to impress against Division I competition by leading the conference in batting average (.310), on-base percentage (.411), home runs (71) and slugging percentage (.497). The Eagles scored more than an average of six runs per game, which shattered the previous A-Sun record and ranked them in the top 10 in the country. Overall, FGCU finished the season with a record of 48-16 and a final NCAA RPI ranking of 40.
The 2009 season proved that 2008 wasn’t a fluke, as FGCU finished second in the A-Sun with a 15-5 record - just one game out of first. The Eagles’ offense again led the conference in just about every major category by finishing the regular season with the highest batting average (.351) and the second-most runs scored per game in the country (7.5 - breaking their own league record by more than a run per game). FGCU played in the championship game of all six tournaments entered, winning titles in the FGCU Spring Break Invitational, the USF Under Armor Tournament and the Hawaii Mahilini Pepsi Tournament. Overall, FGCU finished the regular season in the top five in victories with a record of 47-9, No. 23 national ranking in the Ultimate College Softball Poll, No. 30 ranking in the ESPN Poll and final NCAA RPI of 26.
FGCU spent 11 consecutive weeks in the national top 25 (peaking as high as No. 5), won three of the five tournaments it entered and earned its second consecutive NCAA National Tournament invitation and finished the season with a 62-8 record in 2007. Led by a powerful offense that ranked second in the nation with 87 home runs and a stingy pitching staff that held an ERA of 1.00, the Eagles finished second in the region and garnered a No. 10 final national ranking. Then-junior Carmen Paez brought home the Daktronics National Player of the Year award after setting a Division II record with 28 home runs.
In 2006, Deiros led the Eagles to an impressive 57-7 record and their first invitation to the NCAA National Tournament in just their second year of eligibility for postseason play. The Eagles earned a fifth-place finish and a final ranking of No. 28 in the nation. Deiros was named Division I-II All-Independent Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year by the ICAA.
A 1989 graduate of the University of South Florida with a BS in Chemistry, Deiros also holds a Master's degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Miami (FL). Besides his head coaching duties at FGCU, Deiros has served as the Department of Athletics’ business manager and as a full-time chemistry instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences. He still teaches a General Chemistry class every fall semester. He was named FGCU’s Administrative and Professional Employee of the Year for the 2002-03 academic year.
One of the most successful high school softball coaches in Southwest Florida, Deiros was the head coach at Lely High School in Naples before starting the program at Gulf Coast High School. In those six seasons, his teams posted a 116-67 record that included one district title, one regional championship, one regional runner-up and one state finalist. He has also coached high school baseball, girls’ basketball and football in Collier County. His teaching experience includes high school chemistry and physics and adjunct chemistry instruction at Edison State College.
A member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, he and his wife Jennifer reside in Naples with their son, Eric (14).