1999 Tachikara/AVCA District Coaches of the Year


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1999 Tachikara/AVCA Division I District Coaches of the Year

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ­ - The following coaches have been selected by their district representatives as Tachikara/AVCA District Coaches of the Year.  One coach from each district has been honored.  Each of the honorees will represent their district on the Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year ballot.  The awards will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet in Honolulu, Hawai'i, on Thursday, Dec. 16, 1999, at the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Convention.

    District 1
    Fran Kalafer
    Hofstra University
    Fran Kalafer just completed her 19th year at the helm of the Hofstra University women's volleyball program.  During the 1999 campaign, Hofstra earned an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.  Kalafer boasts a 478-251 record at Hofstra (496-269 overall) and her teams have captured four North Atlantic Conference/America East championships and nine East Coast Conference championships.  In 1999, Kalafer coached the America East Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year.  All told, she has coached 35 All-ECC selections, eight All-NAC selections, two NAC Rookie of the Year selections, 11 All-America East picks, nine ECC Most Valuable Players and one NAC Player of the Year.  She has coached the Dutchwomen to the NCAA tournament during four of the last five seasons.  Kalafer is a 1973 graduate of SUNY-Cortland.

    District 2
    Mike Hebert, Ph.D.
    University of Minnesota
    Mike Hebert has been at the helm of the Minnesota women's volleyball program since 1996.  In 1999, he led the Gophers to a school record with 15 Big Ten wins and a second-place finish for the first time since 1989.  Minnesota's overall record of 27-8 during the 1999 campaign is the second best in school history and the Gophers have qualified for their third regional semifinal in school history (the first since 1993).  Earlier this season, Hebert was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career.  Over the years, Hebert has taken teams to 15 NCAA tournaments and has a tournament record of 20-14.  His teams have qualified for nine regionals and two semifinals.  Hebert has coached collegiate volleyball for 24 seasons and has compiled an overall record of 663-300 (.688).  He entered the season eighth on the active all-time list and 10th on the all-time list for career coaching victories.

    District 3
    Jolene Jordan Hoover
    Clemson University
    Jolene Jordan Hoover is in her seventh season as the Clemson Tigers' head women's volleyball coach.  She holds a 174-63 record at Clemson and is 267-94 for her career.  In 1998, she became Clemson's all-time winningest volleyball coach.  In 1999, Hoover led the team to a 31-3 overall record and a 15-1 ACC mark.  The team's .912 winning percentage is the best of any Clemson athletic team this decade.  Clemson earned its first top 25 national ranking at the beginning of the year and stayed ranked throughout.  Her team opened the season with a record 16-match winning streak, then following one setback, the Tigers went on to claim their next 15 matches.  Hoover has a stellar 84-37 record in ACC matches for a .694 winning percentage, best among active league head coaches.  She was inducted into the Illinois State Hall of Fame in 1999.  She is a graduate of Illinois State University.

    District 4
    Mary Wise
    University of Florida
    Mary Wise has been at the helm of the University of Florida women's volleyball program since 1991.  Overall at the school, she boasts a 303-30 record, ranking Florida first nationally in wins and second nationally with a .910 winning percentage.  In 1999, Wise earned SEC Coach of the Year honors (her sixth honor) and Tachikara/AVCA District 4 Coach of the Year accolades (eight of her nine seasons).  Over the years, Wise's teams have earned nine consecutive berths to the NCAA tournament (seven automatic), nine straight Southeastern Conference championships and seven Southeastern Conference tournament titles.  Under Wise's tutelage, the women's volleyball team has given Florida the distinction of being only one of two schools to have advanced to the NCAA national semifinals five times in the past seven seasons and one of three to make five appearances overall in the 1990s.  Wise is the only female coach to have coached more than one national semifinal team.  Wise is 1981 graduate of Purdue with a bachelor's degree in physical education.

    District 5
    Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Ph.D.
    University of Northern Iowa
    Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Ph.D., is in his 18th season as head coach of the University of Northern Iowa Panthers.  For nearly two decades, he has guided his teams to victory, garnering an overall career mark of 474-136 (.777).  So far during 1999, his team has an unblemished record, going 30-0 on the season.  He is ranked 12th among active coaches in terms of winning percentage and 20th in total victories.  During his tenure, Ahrabi-Fard has guided the Panthers to six NCAA tournaments, nine conference championships and national rankings in four separate seasons.  He has been voted the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year six times by his peers, including during the 1999 season.  Ahrabi-Fard graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.  He received his master's in physical education from the institution in 1966 and his doctorate in physical education and educational administration from the University of Minnesota in 1975.

    District 6
    Kathy Litzau
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Kathy Litzau is in her seventh season at the helm of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's volleyball program.  In her six years as UWM's head volleyball coach, Litzau has marked the Panther record books with new firsts.  During the 1999 campaign, Litzau led her team to a No. 1 ranking in District 6 four times (Oct. 6, Oct. 20, Nov. 4, Nov. 16) ­ the first time ever for UWM.  Her team earned a 25-4 overall record and an 11-1 mark in the MCC ­ the best in school history.  The Panthers captured the MCC regular-season crown and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament ­ the program's second in a row.  Overall, Litzau boasts a 120-97 record at UWM.   Litzau is a 1990 graduate of Notre Dame, and earned her master's degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois.

    District 7
    John Dunning
    University of the Pacific
    John Dunning has been at the helm of the University of the Pacific women's volleyball team since 1985.  He boasts a 407-97 overall record and an .808 winning percentage.  During his tenure, Dunning has led the Tigers to two NCAA championships, a 1990 NCAA second-place finish, four Big West Conference titles and 15 consecutive NCAA postseason tournament bids.  Following the Tigers' conference championship season in 1999, he was honored with his third Big West Conference Coach of the Year selection.  Dunning claimed his 400th career victory on his 49th birthday, Nov. 6, 1999.  In addition to back-to-back national titles in 1985 and '86, Dunning has led his teams to a combined record of 39-13 in postseason action ­ an unmatched 10-1 in Big West Conference Tournament play and a sparkling 29-12 mark in the NCAA tournament.  Of the 15 squads coached by Dunning, 13 have reached the NCAA Regionals, advancing to the regional championship match six times and the semifinals on three occasions.

    District 8
    Nina Matthies
    Pepperdine University
    Nina Matthies has been at the helm of the Pepperdine University women's volleyball program for 16 years.  Since first assuming the head coaching duties at the institution, Matthies has directed the Waves to 13 winning seasons, 10 NCAA championships berths and one appearance at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) in 1995.  In addition, the Waves have earned national Top 25 recognition and have captured seven West Coast Conference (WCC) championships since the league was formed in 1985.  During the 1999 campaign, Matthies has led the Waves to a 26-3 overall record (24-3 during the regular season) and an automatic NCAA tournament berth by virtue of capturing the WCC championship.  The Waves registered a 7-3 record against nationally ranked teams in 1999 and have posted a cumulative mark of 13-3 against teams in this year's tournament.  Pepperdine is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1999.

    L-R  Jolene Jordan Hoover, Kathy Litzau, Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Mary Wise, Mike Hebert

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