Head Coach- 1077-410
Simply put, he is the gold standard for softball coaches. Not just in the ACCAC (arguably the toughest softball conference in the nation)… or Region I (which annually has the most teams nationally ranked). When softball coaches who are trying to build their NJCAA programs from the ground up look around to take pieces of other successful programs to use as their own, the athletic and academic success and foundation that Heinz Mueller has built at Phoenix College is likely where they turn to first. Mueller enters his 24th season at the Bears’ Softball program as one of only three NJCAA Softball coaches ever to record 1000 career wins (and will likely celebrate his 1100th sometime in March or April this season). Mueller’s teams are mainstays at or near the top of the NJCAA Division II Poll, as evidenced by the fact that they were never lower than 3rd in the poll in 2013 (finishing 2nd), were ranked 1st in all but two weeks of NJCAA Polls from 2004 through 2008; and have been ranked outside of the NJCAA Top 10 just once in the past decade. Last May, Mueller led the Bears to their 12th Region I Division II title (in the last 14 years), and their 12th trip to the NJCAA DII Tournament in this millennium. Once the Bears make it to nationals, Mueller makes sure that they are in line to win it all, since they’ve finished fourth or higher every time, have hoisted 8th national championships since 2000, and came within one win of winning their 9th title last May.
That success isn’t just limited to team accomplishments, since Mueller has now coached over 100 NJCAA/NFCA All-Americans during his tenure; 150 of his student-athletes have excelled enough to earn scholarships to four-year schools; and for the first time this past year, one of his student-athletes, Rebecca Wyatt, earned the prestigious National Fastpitch Softball Coaches’ Association Golden Shoe Award. But while Mueller is incredibly proud of the accomplishments above, he beams with pride even more for the academic accomplishments of his teams over the years. 47 of his student-athletes have earned NJCAA/NFCA Academic All-American status for achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or higher, every one of Mueller’s teams in Y2K have been named an NJCAA/NFCA Academic All-American Team for achieving a team cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher; and 180 of his student-athletes have been able to move their tassel over while earning their degree at PC.
Not surprisingly, Mueller and his coaching staffs have earned accolades as well, since Mueller is now an eight-time NJCAA National Championship Coach of the Year, and his staff has been the NFCA Speedline Coaching Staff of the Year four times. Mueller has received two of the top honors anyone in his profession can earn over the past year, since he was inducted into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame last August, and was just named as an NJCAA Hall of Fame Inductee this past December. He’s already a member of the Phoenix College and PC Athletics Halls of Fame.
Mueller celebrates his five-year anniversary to his wife, Janet, this year. They have one daughter, Tina; and two stepsons, Jason and Ben. Mueller also dotes on his seven grandchildren.