Former Blue Hen Coaches B.J. Ferguson, Barbara Viera Honored at Second Annual Delaware Diamond Extravaganza
February 9, 2011
DOVER, Del. -- Former University of Delaware softball coach B.J. Ferguson and volleyball coach Barbara Viera (above right), the two winningest women’s coaches in Blue Hen history, were honored at the Second Annual Delaware Diamond Extravaganza held Saturday, January 24 at the Dover Sheraton.
The extravaganza recognized Delawareans and individuals with ties to Delaware for outstanding contributions to women’s sports. In addition to Ferguson and Viera, other honorees included Delaware State University graduate Delores Blakely, Lake Forest School District Superintendent Dr. Dan Curry, local Chick fil-A owner and contributor to DSU Mary Johnson, athlete and educator Rhondale Jones, field hockey coach and educator William Miranda, and educator and track and field coach James Solomon.
Ferguson (below right) served as the Blue Hens’ softball coach from 1981 through 2010, posting a 622-583-8 record in 30 seasons. Her teams recorded 20 or more wins 15 times, including a school-record mark of 36-14 in 2000, and advanced to the league tournament on 17 occasions. Delaware won league titles in 1983 and 1984, capturing the East Coast Conference regular season title both years and winning the league tournament in 1984 with an overall mark of 17-13.
A 1979 graduate of Springfield (Mass.) College, Ferguson reached the 600-win milestone late in the 2009 season when the Blue Hens defeated Army on Apr. 22 and coached her 1,000th career game during the 2006 season when the Blue Hens downed Delaware State 7-0 on March 18. She was named league Coach of the Year three times, being honored by the ECC in 1986, by America East in 1997, and by the CAA in 2003.
In addition to her softball duties, Ferguson served as head coach of the Blue Hen women's tennis team for 12 seasons ending in 1992. During her tenure, she guided her teams to a dual record of 103-62 and led the squad to back-to-back ECC titles in 1987 and 1988. Ferguson remains a full-time faculty member in the College of Health Sciences at UD.
Viera was the Delaware volleyball head coach for 27 seasons from 1973-99, recording a career record of 682-429-4 which ranked her seventh on the NCAA Division I wins list. Her teams advanced to post-season play every year during her career and participated in four national tournaments, including Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) berths in 1975 and 1979 and National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) appearances in 1992 and 1994.
Viera was named league Coach of the Year four times and led her team to three league titles in addition to the 1979 EAIAW Eastern title. Her teams enjoyed 22 winning seasons and posted 20 or more wins 21 times and 30 or more wins eight times, including a school record 38 in both 1977 and 1980.
A 1963 honors graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Viera earned her master's and doctorate degrees from Springfield College and served as a physical education professor at Delaware. She has also earned numerous honors and awards for her support of athletic opportunities for girls and women and was the author of several books and articles on volleyball and women's athletics. The University of Delaware volleyball court is named in her honor as is the Delaware High School Volleyball Sportsmanship Award.
Miranda, who currently coaches field hockey at Brandywine High School, played two years of baseball at Delaware, helping lead the Blue Hens ot the NCAA Division II Championship and a berth in the 1970 College World Series. He batted .319 over two seasons with 22 hits, 18 runs scored and 15 RBI.
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