Nazareth's Cal Wickens Named 2011 Men's Division III Coach of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2011) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Nazareth College men's volleyball coach Cal Wickens has been selected as the 2011 AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the Year, while his assistant coach, Kyle Salisbury, has been named the AVCA Division III Men's National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Wickens led the Golden Flyers (31-3) to their first-ever Molten Division III Men's Volleyball Invitational Championship in 2011, the squad's second-consecutive appearance in the event in just the program's seventh year of intercollegiate play. It wasn't an easy path for Nazareth once the Molten event began, as it had to knock off Carthage College in five sets in the semifinals before facing then-fellow-No.1 ranked Springfield College. The Golden Flyers proceeded to defeat the Pride in a hard-fought four-set win to take home the championship.
Nazareth had an automatic bid in the Molten Championship because they were the host school, but they didn't need that bid to earn a spot. For good measure, the Golden Flyers went on to win the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Championship and the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) Championship by winning five-set matches over Baruch College and SUNY New Paltz, respectively. They ended the season on a 22-match winning streak, losing just one match after January 27th. Nazareth was ranked in the AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll's top-five all season, including an end of season ranking of No. 1.
With the 31-3 showing this season, Wickens is now 159-60 in his seven years coaching men's volleyball at Nazareth. He mentored four 2011 AVCA Men's Division III All-Americans and placed three Golden Flyers on the Molten Invitational All-Tournament Team. In addition, Nazareth produced three members on the inaugural All-UVC First-Team with another player on the Second-Team. Wickens was also tabbed the UVC's Coach of the Year.
Salisbury has been with the Nazareth volleyball program for seven seasons, helping jump-start the men's volleyball program. He is vital to the success of the program, responsible for 90 pecent of the team's recruiting, while handling all travel arrangements and budget management. The New York native also spends ample time volunteering his services as the Director of the Western Empire Volleyball Association (WEVA) of USA Volleyball. He organized the tryouts and selection of the boy's scholastic volleyball team for the Western Region of New York State (Rochester/Buffalo). Salisbury also found schools that would donate the use of their buildings for practices prior to the game. His teams have won six gold medals and one silver medal in the past seven years.
The AVCA will formally present both coaches their awards at the 2011 jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, December 15. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2011 AVCA Annual Convention.