Sheila (Lingenfelter) Gulas capped a remarkable athletic career last December when she was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, culminating a 31-year coaching career that took her from Allegheny College, to Wittenberg and, finally, to Ashland University.
Along the way, the 1979 Southwestern Central School graduate, who retired in June 2017, compiled a 929-487-1 career mark (.656 winning percentage), including 723-365-1 (.664) at Ashland.
Those accomplishments have earned Gulas a place in the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. Joining Gulas in the 2018 induction class are Dick Cole, Curt Fischer, Lori Franchina, the late Jim Riggs, Fran Sirianni, Clem Worosz and Phil Young. They will be formally honored at the CSHOF’s 37th annual banquet on Feb. 19 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Tickets for the induction dinner are $50. Jamestown Cycle Shop, 10 Harrison Street, Jamestown; Matt’s News, 93 E. Third Street, Dunkirk; Tony’s Shoe Repair, 12 N. Portage Street, Westfield; and the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, 15 W. Third Street in Jamestown, are the official distribution sites. Tickets can also be ordered by phoning Chip Johnson at 485-6991.
In addition to her NFCA Hall-of-Fame induction last month, Gulas was also the recipient of several other honors in 2017, including the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year; and the ASHPY’S Lifetime Achievement Award. The speaker at the Ashland Umpires Association scholarship banquet, Gulas coached two more all-region, one academic All-American and six all-conference players in her final campaign as coach.
Gulas’ impact was felt beyond the numbers, though. All one has to do to confirm that is watch a video produced by former players and coaches as a tribute to her on the eve of her NFCA Hall-of Fame induction.
Said one former player: “I don’t think you’ll understand the infinite amount of time you’ve put in to each and every single one of us here in this program. And as we graduate and as we move on to our professional lives, how that helps mold us into the people we are and helps our decision making as adults.”