2006 Men's National Coach of the Year Division III

5/1/2006

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Rivier College's Head Coach Craig Kolek Selected
2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the YearSM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), in conjunction with Tachikara USA, Inc, is proud to announce that Craig Kolek of Rivier College has been selected as the 2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the YearSM.

Kolek led Rivier to a 31-5 overall record and a 27-4 mark against NCAA Division III teams. The Raiders earned an automatic bid into the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball ChampionshipSM after winning the NECVA Tournament. Rivier placed fourth at the Molten and finished the year ranked eighth in the final CSTV/AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 PollSM.

River won its sixth straight NECVA New England Division title and became the first-ever New England Division team to win the NECVA Tournament. Rivier won a school-record 22 straight matches from Feb. 11 to April 7, knocking off seven ranked teams in the process. The Raiders won 10 matches against teams ranked in the final poll and had all of its losses come against either ranked competition or NCAA Division I/II teams. Rivier won four of five matches against NCAA Division I/II teams.

Kolek mentored senior middle blocker Andrew Chace to the AVCA Division III First-Team All-AmericaSM. He also placed four athletes on the NECVA All-New England Division teams. Chace, who was named the New England Division Player of the Year, was joined on the NECVA All-New England First Team by senior outside hitter Greg Stanton. Senior outside hitter Mike Buccarelli and senior setter Nhut Chau both received second team honors. Kolek was named NECVA New England Division Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

In addition to his men's coaching duties, Kolek is also the head women's volleyball coach and an assistant athletic director at Rivier. He is a 1991 graduate of Merrimack College with a bachelor's degree in business management. Kolek is active in the AVCA as a voting member on the CSTV/AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 PollSM.

This season is the third year a separate Tachikara/AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the YearSM honor has been awarded, with Carthage College's L.J. Marx winning in 2005 and Juniata College's Ken Shibuya earning the honor in 2004.

Tachikara will formally present the AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the YearSM award in Omaha, Neb., at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year and Victory ClubSM Awards banquet. The brunch is held in conjunction with the 2006 AVCA Annual Convention.

Tachikara can be found on the world wide web at http://www.tachikara.com/.

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