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NSA Hall of Fame: Mike Coppinger (1997)

CATEGORY: Umpire

YEAR INDUCTED: 1997

Mike came on board with NSA in 1986 as a local UIC in Missouri.  Mike quickly became a State UIC for Missouri and then moved up the ranks to become a Regional UIC, responsible for the training and recruiting of umpires for then Missouri, Illinois, and Nebraska.  Mike was the first to win the State Umpire in Chief award in 1987.  Mike won the prestigious Regional Umpire in Chief award in 1988 and 1989 as well.  Mike wrote and edited the 1st NSA Fast Pitch Rule Book for the NSA as well as serving as the UIC for the very first Youth Fast Pitch World Series.  During Mike’s career as an Umpire in Chief, Mike never missed a year as the Umpire in Chief of at least one of the Fast Pitch World Series.  Mike continued to be the editor of the Fast Pitch Rule Book until his death in November of 2000.  Mike was elected to serve as a member of the NSA Board of Directors in 1991, proving to remain the true pioneer with innovative ideas concerning different rules or by-laws that he was as a UIC.  Most of those innovations still govern NSA play or NSA procedure today.   Mike served as co-chairman of the NSA Rules Committee until his death. 

Mike touched the lives of countless umpires and Umpire In Chiefs during his lifetime.  So, in 2002 the NSA combined its State and Regional Umpire In Chief awards and named the new award, The Mike Coppinger Umpire In Chief Award.  Mike’s standard of excellence as a UIC, is the standard by which all UIC’s who work for NSA are measured.

Mike, along with Chuck Middleton had the vision that one day, the NSA would have a Hall of Fame building which would enshrine those people whose contributions were vital to the sport of softball.