Vassar College’s Jonathan Penn Named 2008 AVCA Division III Men’s National Coach of the Year


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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Vassar College Head Men's Volleyball Coach Jonathan Penn has been selected as the 2008 AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the Year.

Just one season after Vassar turned in an 8-15 record and two years removed from a 2-17 mark, Penn led the Brewers to a 26-7 (.787) overall record in 2008. Vassar earned the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association's (NECVA) automatic bid into the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship. The Brewers were awarded the fourth seed of the Molten Invitational, and pulled off a first round upset of No. 1 UC Santa Cruz during the tournament semifinals in sweeping fashion. The Brewers eventually succumbed to second-seeded Springfield College in three games in the finals.

Vassar, in just its first year competing in the NECVA, captured the conference's regular season title with a perfect 18-0 league mark, and continued its dominance in the NECVA Postseason Tournament, where it was crowned the 2008 champion. The Brewers went 11-7 this season against teams ranked in the final CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division III Men's Top 15 Coaches Poll, including scoring upsets of Nazareth College and UC Santa Cruz, both of whom were ranked No. 1 at the time of defeat.

Vassar was ranked second in the final CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division III Poll, the highest final ranking in team history. Unranked during the preseason and the first week of the regular season, the Brewers entered the poll during week two and steadily ascended up the rankings throughout the duration of the season. Along the way, Vassar locked up its first 20-win campaign in program history.

Under the leadership of Penn, Vassar placed three student-athletes on the 2008 AVCA Division III Men's All-America Teams, two on the first team, and one on the second team. These athletes became just the first men's volleyball All-Americans in Vassar history, and the Brewers became the first sports program in Vassar history to honor multiple All-Americans in the same season. In addition to the All-American laurels, Penn also guided four Brewers to NECVA All-Metro status, including mentoring the NECVA Metro Division Player of the Year, en route to earning the division's Coach of the Year honor.

Penn, who also coaches the Brewers' women's program, is the winningest volleyball coach in school history. He is now 130-142 while directing the men's squad and a combined 351-277 in his 11 years as the head coach of the Vassar volleyball programs.

Penn will be formally presented the AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year award in December in Omaha, Neb., at the 2008 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2008 AVCA Annual Convention.

AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the Year
2008: Jonathan Penn (Vassar)
2007: L.J. Marx (Carthage)
2006: Craig Kolek (Rivier)
2005: L.J. Marx (Carthage)
2004: Ken Shibuya (Juniata)

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