2005 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coaches of the Year

12/5/2005

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2005 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coaches of the YearSM Announced

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The following coaches have been selected by their region as Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coach of the YearSM. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the YearSM ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the YearSM and Victory Club AwardsSM banquet in San Antonio on Thursday, Dec. 15, at the 2005 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention.

Tachikara/AVCA Central Region Coach of the YearSM
John Cook, University of Nebraska
2005 Record:
30-1 (19-1 Big 12)
Cook has led the Huskers to a 30-1 overall record, including a 28-0 start, with a Big 12 title and one league loss. Nebraska has been ranked first in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll the entire season, despite playing a schedule that has included 11 ranked matches, including two current in the top five. Cook switched the Huskers' offense from a 5-1 to a 6-2 going without a libero prior to the season. Offensively, NU has attacked at a .324 clip as a team, the second-highest total in school history. The Huskers have three players averaging better than three kills per game. NU averages a national-best 4.11 blocks per game, nearly a block per game better than any other NCAA Division I school. Cook played in an instrumental role in getting the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase to Omaha, where it drew crowds of over 10,000 per game - the largest crowds in college volleyball this season.

Tachikara/AVCA East Region Coach of the YearSM
Janice Kruger, University of Maryland
2005 Record:
28-5 (18-4 ACC)
Kruger led Maryland to a co-championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference and received an at-large bid into the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Maryland, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I Tournament, finished the season with a 28-5 overall record and 18-4 mark in the ACC. Kruger has guided Maryland to at least a share of the last three ACC titles. The Terps, unranked in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, moved up as high as 24th in the poll on Nov. 7. Maryland returned just three starters and its libero from last year and bolted to a 14-0 record to start the season. Kruger has led the Terps to the NCAA Division I Tournament six times. She has earned the Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the YearSM five times. She also is the winningest volleyball coach in ACC history.

Tachikara/AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the YearSM
Geoff Carlston, Ohio University
2005 Record:
33-2 (19-0 Mid-American)
Carlston has led the Bobcats to their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament regional semifinal appearance after beating Ohio State in the second round. Ohio captured the Mid-American Conference with an undefeated record, followed by the MAC Tournament championship. The Bobcats, which started the season unranked, made its season debut in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll on Oct. 3. Ohio's only two losses in 2005 have been to "Sweet 16" teams in this year's NCAA Division I Tournament. Carlston returned four starters and a libero from last year, overcoming the loss of an AVCA All-America honorable mention setter. Carlston became the second coach in Mid-American Conference history to earn the league's Coach of the Year three consecutive years. He has earned the Tachikara/AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the YearSM twice with first honor in 2003.

Tachikara/AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the YearSM
Mitch Jacobs, Marshall University
2005 Record:
26-6 (18-1 Conference USA)
Jacobs led Marshall to its first NCAA Division I Tournament appearance since 1995 as the Thundering Herd captured the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. Marshall finished the season with a 26-6 overall record and 18-1 mark in its first season of Conference USA competition. The Thundering Herd, which held a 2004 NCAA RPI of 72 and improved to 36 in the RKPI (RichKern.com), returned all six starters and libero from 2004. Marshall entered its NCAA postseason match with Ohio State on a school-record 12-match win streak. The Thundering Herd also produced win streaks of seven and five matches after starting the season 0-2. Jacobs coached both the Conference USA Player of the Year and Setter of the Year in 2005. He has led the Thundering Herd to at least 20 wins in each of his three seasons with the program.

Tachikara/AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the YearSM
Debbie Brown, University of Notre Dame
2005 Record:
30-3 (13-1 BIG EAST)
Brown has led the Fighting Irish into the NCAA Division I Tournament Regional Semifinals as the sixth seed, the highest overall tournament seed in school history. Notre Dame is 30-3 overall with a 13-1 BIG EAST record as the Fighting Irish captured the league's tournament championship as the top seed. Notre Dame, which was unranked to start the season, has been ranked among the top 10 of the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll 11 weeks in 2005. The Fighting Irish, which returned five starters and their libero from 2004, have won five of six matches against current top 25 teams including wins over NCAA Division I Tournament Regional semifinalists Louisville (two) and Florida. All three of Notre Dame's losses have been in five games. Brown has earned Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the YearSM four times (1992, 1993, 1997, 2005)

Tachikara/AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the YearSM
Jon Wallace, Santa Clara University
2005 Record:
25-4 (12-2 West Coast)
Wallace has guided the Broncos to their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament regional semifinal appearance after defeating defending national champion Stanford in the second round. Santa Clara has posted a 25-4 record and won the West Coast Conference for the first time since 2000 with a 12-2 record. The Broncos, with four returning starters and their libero from 2004, have posted three wins over current nationally ranked teams, including a win over "Sweet 16" Arizona. Santa Clara is currently ranked 11th in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll and reached a season- and all-time high number-10 ranking. Wallace has led the Broncos to their fifth 20-plus win season in his seven seasons at Santa Clara. The Broncos started the season 22-1 and recovered from a three-match losing to streak to reach the Sweet 16.

Tachikara/AVCA South Region Coach of the YearSM
Travis Hudson, Western Kentucky University
2005 Record:
31-3 (12-0 Sun Belt)
Hudson led the Lady Toppers to their second NCAA Division I Tournament berth by capturing the Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles. After WKU dropped nine games in its four opening matches, the Lady Toppers lost a total of eight games the rest of the season en route to posting a 31-3 overall record and 12-0 mark in Sun Belt play. WKU held win streaks of 14 and 13 matches in 2005 with just three returning starters. Hudson mentored the Lady Toppers to a number-29 national ranking in the RKPI (RichKern.com), an improvement of 42 points from the 2004 NCAA RPI. He also earned the Tachikara/AVCA South Region Coach of the YearSM in 2002 as the Lady Toppers' earned their first NCAA Division I Tournament bid. Hudson holds a 345-130 record in 11 seasons at WKU.

Tachikara/AVCA West Region Coach of the YearSM
Dave Shoji, University of Hawai'i

2005 Record: 27-6 (16-0 WAC)
Shoji has led sixth-ranked Hawai'i to a 27-6 overall and its sixth consecutive Western Athletic Conference championship. After a 6-6 start the season with seven ranked opponents in their first 12 matches, the Rainbow Wahine have pulled together a 21-match win streak going into the NCAA Division I Tournament Regional Semifinals. Hawai'i defeated host Texas, ranked in a tie at seventh with the Rainbow Wahine, in the second round of the tournament to advance to the regional semifinals. The Rainbow Wahine started the season ranked fourth in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll. Hawai'i returned all six starters plus its libero from 2004. Shoji was named AVCA West Region Coach of the YearSM for the eighth time (1987, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005). He was named the coach of the NCAA Division I 25th Anniversary Women's Volleyball Team earlier this year.

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