2004 Tachikara/AVCA NAIA National Coach of the Year


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Columbia College's Melinda Wyre-Washington Named 2004 Tachikara/AVCA NAIA National Coach of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), in conjunction with Tachikara USA, Inc, is proud to announce that Melinda Wrye-Washington of Columbia College (Mo.) has been selected as the 2004 Tachikara/AVCA NAIA National Coach of the Year.

Washington led the Cougars to a third-place finish in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Tournament. Columbia finished the season with a 43-5 record and ranked third in the final NAIA poll. The Cougars won the American Midwest Conference regular season and tournament championships en route to winning the Region V Tournament Championship. Columbia was undefeated in league play with 14 victories. Washington led the Cougars through a challenging season of injuries and mid-year player position switches. The Cougars dropped matches only to NAIA national champion California Baptist, NAIA runner-up Concordia (Calif.), Truman State University (NCAA Division II national runner-up) and NAIA Region V rivals Central Methodist and Lindenwood.

Since Washington took over the reigns of the Cougar volleyball program in 2000, they have won all five American Midwest Conference Tournament and NAIA Region V Tournament Championships. Columbia has earned one NAIA National Championship, two second-place finishes, one third-place trophy and a fifth-place finish in the last five seasons.

Washington has racked up four NAIA Region V Coach of the Year awards and was named the 2001 NAIA National Tournament Coach of the Year when her squad won the national championship. She has collected a 201-21 overall record at Columbia with a .905 winning percentage. Washington's 200th victory came against Union (Tenn.) on Dec. 2 at the NAIA National Tournament.

Tachikara will formally present the Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year award on Dec. 16 in Long Beach, Calif. The Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year and Victory Club Awards banquet is held in conjunction with the 2004 AVCA Annual Convention.

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