2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division II National Coach of the Year


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University of Tampa's Chris Catanach Named 2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division II National Coach of the YearSM

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LEXINGTON, Ky.  - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), in conjunction with Tachikara USA, Inc., is proud to announce that the University of Tampa's Head Women's Volleyball Coach Chris Catanach has been selected as the 2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division II National Coach of the YearSM.

This is the second time Catanach has been honored with Division II National Coach of the Year honors. He also received the award in 1991.

"The National Coach of the Year honor is made by a committee, so it is wonderful to be thought of as someone that is good enough and is accomplished enough to represent all Division II coaches as their national coach of the year," said Catanach on learning he won the award. "I think there are some really phenomenal coaches out there, so it makes it even a greater honor to be selected."

Catanach led Tampa to its first NCAA Division II National Championship title this season. It was the third time the Spartans made it to the national final, finishing second in 1996 and 1999.

Tampa, which had four starters and two letter winners return from last season, finished the 2006 season with a 35-1 overall record, and a 15-1 record in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC). The Spartans only loss came to SSC rival Florida Southern on Sept. 29. After that loss, Tampa went on to win 18-straight matches to finish the season and take the conference title, South Region title and national championship.

Tampa hosted, and won, the NCAA Division II South Regional with victories over Wingate (3-0), Barry (3-0) and nationally-ranked #10 Florida Gulf Coast (3-1). The South Regional win earned them the top seed in the NCAA Division II National Championship, where they defeated three nationally-ranked teams, #25 Dowling (3-0), #2 Minnesota Duluth (3-1) and #6 North Alabama (3-1) to win their first national title.

Catanach has a 721-143 overall record in his 23 years at Tampa, and a .834 win percentage, the best of any active Division II coach. He has led his team to 16 SSC titles, 21 NCAA tournament appearances and 10 National Championship appearances. He has been named SSC Coach of the Year 12 times, and was elected to the SSC Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Tampa Hall of Fame in 2002.

Tachikara will formally present the AVCA Division II National Coach of the YearSM award to Chris Catanach on Dec. 14 in Omaha at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year and Victory Club AwardsSM banquet. The banquet 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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