Kubicka Honored at NJAIAW Girls and Women in Sport Day Celebration
Kubicka was honored along with former Brookdale Community College Director of Athletics and softball coach Jack Ryan. Kubicka becomes the fourth Montclair State honoree joining Carol Blazejowski, former softball coach Donna Olson and current Director of Athletics Holly Gera as recipients of the award.
Entering her 20th season at the helm of the Red Hawks program in 2010, Kubicka has far and away won more games than any other coach in Montclair State softball history. In fact, she trails only baseball Norm Schoenig (637 wins) in total victories by an MSU mentor. In 19 seasons Kubicka has fashioned quite a coaching resume – 616 victories, a .732 winning percentage – both which rank in the Top 15 among active coaches in Division III. Thirteen times her teams have won 30-plus games, including nine of the last 11 campaigns, and she has led the Red Hawks to 10 NCAA Tournaments. In those 10 appearances are two trips to the national championship tournament where in 1997, MSU finished as the runner-up. Montclair has also won seven ECAC championships under Kubicka’s watch and she has earned several NJAC and Regional Coach of the Year honors.
During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, no team in the New Jersey Athletic Conference has been better than Kubicka’s Red Hawks which have gone an impressive 34-2 during that time. In 2008 MSU put together its best conference season in program history. Montclair did not lose a single conference game during the regular season posting an 18-0 mark making just the second NJAC squad in league annals to accomplish that feat. In addition to its second straight regular-season crown, Montclair also captured the NJAC Tournament winning twice on the final day to earn its first conference championship since 1997 and its third overall.
Montclair State completed 2008 with a 43-6 record, setting the school record for victories and Kubicka and her staff were rewarded as they captured Coaching Staff of the Year honors from both the NJAC and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Kubicka was also honored by the New Jersey Sportswriters Association in January of 2009.
Kubicka came to Montclair State in 1991 and a year later she had the Red Hawks in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship as Montclair made a “Cinderella” run to a third-place showing. Earning the final berth into the 1992 Regional Tournament, lost its first game, but went on to win its next four including three in one day to earn a trip to Pella, Iowa. Four years later, MSU returned to the national final and reached the championship game this time in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This time, the Red Hawks advanced to the championship round came within a run of winning the national championship before falling to Simpson College, 2-1.
But Kubicka’s legacy in Montclair State softball history goes beyond the records and accolades on the field.
She played a major role in the construction of the MSU Softball that gave her team a first-class facility that matched it success on the field. The stadium opened in 2004 to raved reviews and is one of the premier softball-only complexes in the East Region. The stadium served as the home to the NY/NJ Juggernaut of the National Pro Fastpitch in 2004 and in May 2009 was the site for the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. It marked the first time that Montclair hosted a national championship tournament and it was the first appearance in the East by the tournament in 20 years.
Among the list of 55 players to be named All-American at MSU, Kubicka had coached 35 of them – 15 First-Team selections, including 1992 NCAA Division III Player of the Year Lois Fyfe. Kubicka’s teams have also excelled in the classroom raking among the top academic athletic teams at Montclair State and place several players each year on the NJAC’s All-Academic Team. In 2008, Jackie Ferranti became the first female and the fifth student-athlete in school history to be named Academic All-America.
Kubicka, a 1984 graduate of Trenton State, is well acquainted with winning traditions. During her career, she played on the Lions’ 1983 National Championship squad, the first for the school after having finished runner-up in both its 1982 and 1984 NCAA Division III Softball Championship campaigns.