2001 Tachikara/AVCA Region Coaches of the Year
2001 AVCA Division I Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The following coaches have been selected by their region as Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coach of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the National Coach of the Year ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet in San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2001, at the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Convention.
Central Region Coach of the Year
Bobbi Petersen University of Northern Iowa
2001 Record: 31-1, 17-1 Missouri Valley, NCAA Tournament Region Semifinal Round (still playing)
Coach/Team Bio: Coach Peterson, in just her first full season as a head coach (interim head coach in 1997) after serving six season in an assistant coach capacity for the Panthers, has led Northern Iowa to a 31-1 overall record and 17-1 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Panthers, who have advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament Regional Semifinal Round, are currently ranked No. 16 in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. UNI holds victories over No. 6 Wisconsin and Notre Dame, both away from the friendly confines of home. The Panthers captured the MVC Tournament title as the number-one seed, then hosted first and second-round NCAA Tournament matches with wins over Northern Illinois and Minnesota to advance to the Sweet 16.
East Region Coach of the Year
Joe Sagula, University of North Carolina
2001 Record: 24-9, 12-4 ACC, NCAA Tournament Selection (advanced to second round)
Coach/Team Bio: With five starters back from the 2000 Tar Heel squad, Coach Sagula led North Carolina into the 2001 NCAA Tournament by virtue of its third consecutive ACC Tournament championship. The Tar Heels finished the league with a 12-4 mark and are currently 24-9 overall. North Carolina was ranked No. 25 in the Oct. 15 USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, for which Sagula serves as a poll voter. North Carolina upset then No. 23 South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament First Round before falling to No. 8 Pepperdine in the second round. Sagula finished his 12th season at UNC and has a Tar Heel win-loss record of 239-158. His overall career record is 442-281 in 21 years.
Mideast Region Coach of the Year
Pete Waite, University of Wisconsin
2001 Record: 27-3, 19-1 Big Ten, NCAA Tournament Region Semifinal Round (still playing)
Coach/Team Bio: Coach Waite has led Wisconsin to the Big Ten championship with a 19-1 league record, which has been coupled with a 27-3 overall mark. The Badgers are 8-3 against teams ranked among the current USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll with their three losses on the year coming to No.12 Pacific, No. 16 Northern Iowa and No. 17 Penn State. Wisconsin is one of just 10 teams which has not lost to an unranked team this year. Waite and the Badgers have posted victories over No. 5 USC, No. 9 Ohio State (twice), No. 11 Hawai'i, No. 17 Penn State, No. 19 Michigan State, No. 20 Illinois (twice) and UC Santa Barbara. Wisconsin, currently ranked sixth in the national poll, has been ranked as high as third this season and not below ninth.
Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Joylynn Tracy, Wright State University
2001 Record: 21-7, 11-3 Horizon
Coach/Team Bio: Wright State won the most matches and produced the highest winning percentage (.750) of any Horizon League team in 2001. Not since 1987 has Wright State won 21 matches in a single season and produced as high of a winning pencentage. Coach Tracy, in her fourth year as Raider head coach, was selected the Horizon League Coach of the Year for her team's accomplishments this season. WSU improved by 10 wins from last season's 11-17 record. WSU was ranked as high as fourth in the NCAA Midwest Region and fifth in the final ranking period.
Northeast Region Coach of the Year
Kerry Major, University of Pennsylvania
2001 Record: 18-7, 11-3 Ivy, NCAA Tournament Selection (advanced to first round)
Coach/Team Bio: Coach Major, in her fourth season at Pennsylvania, led the Quakers to their first-ever NCAA Tournament by capturing the Ivy League's automatic bid to the event. The Quakers finished the season with an 18-7 overall record and 11-3 mark in the Ivy League. Coach Major has been forced to alter lineups constantly throughout the season due to injuries, but Penn has overcome the odds to win the Ivy League title. Major helped the Quakers adjust to a regular season double-round robin conference play format after facing other league foes just once each last year. The Quakers recorded two win streaks this season of at least seven matches, including a season-high eight match-win streak.
Pacific Region Coach of the Year
John Dunning, Stanford University
2001 Record: 29-2, 17-1 Pac-10, NCAA Tournament Region Semifinal Round (still playing)
Coach/Team Bio: Coach Dunning has not skipped a beat in his first year as the head coach at Stanford University following a lengthy stay at Pacific. He led the Cardinal to the Pac-10 championship with a 17-1 league mark, while Stanford is 29-2 for the year. Stanford is 9-2 against teams currently ranked in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, which includes wins over No. 4 Arizona (twice), No. 5 USC, No. 9 Colorado State, No. 12 Pacific, No. 14 UCLA (twice), No. 15 Texas A&M, No. 17 Penn State and Santa Clara. The only two setbacks on the Cardinal schedule have been to #1 Long Beach State and USC. Dunning, the Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year, has improved Stanford by 10 games already from 2000 heading into the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals.
South Region Coach of the Year
Dulcie "Cookie" Stevens, Florida International University
2001 Record: 24-8, 8-5 Sun Belt, NCAA Tournament Selection (advanced to second round)
Coach/Team Bio: Florida International has improved by eight wins from last season's 16-17 record under the guidance of Cookie Stevens. She led Florida International to the NCAA Tournament by capturing the Sun Belt Tournament championship after an 8-5 regular season conference mark. FIU proceeded to defeat University of Central Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 7 Florida. Stevens was honored as the league's Coach of the Year. In her three seasons at the helm, Stevens has built the FIU team from a 7-23 record in 1999, a 17-match win improvement from her first season. After each match, she has her players write their team and individual goals in their "Goal Book" as a method to evaluate team and individual progress.
West Region Coach of the Year
Beth Launiere, University of Utah
2001 Record: 25-6, 11-3 Mountain West, NCAA Tournament Selection (in Region Play)
Coach/Team Bio: In her 12th season, Coach Launiere has not only resurrected the Ute volleyball program and turned it into a consistent winner, she has also guided Utah to unprecedented success on the national level. Launiere, the winningest coach in school history, has led the Utes back into the NCAA Tournament as Utah is 25-6 this season with a spot in the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal Round. Utah captured its first-ever Mountain West Conference Tournament championship. The Utes own a 7-4 record against teams currently in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (two each against BYU, Colorado State and Utah State). Utah holds the No. 13 position in the national poll, its highest in school history. The Utes' .807 overall winning percentage proves the best in school history. Utah also equaled the third-best conference winning percentage in school history this season (11-3, .785).