2000 Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year


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Paul GiesselmannColorado Springs, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), in conjunction with Tachikara USA, Inc., is proud to announce that Paul Giesselmann of the College of Saint Mary has been selected as the 2000 Tachikara/AVCA NCAA NAIA National Coach of the Year.

Giesselmann and the Saint Mary volleyball team took another step in building its program at the 2000 NAIA Tournament by reaching the Final Four for the first time in school history. Saint Mary won its quarterfinal match over Georgetown (Ky.) 13-15, 15-5, 15-9, 15-7.

"It feels great," Giesselmann, in his seventh season with the Flames, said following the quarterfinal match. "I cannot tell you how proud I am of the team. We set this goal in winter conditioning and I think the key has been we've been real consistent emotionally, not a lot of peaks and valleys."

Although the Flames' first trip to the NAIA volleyball Final Four ended in defeat, Giesselmann found plenty of reason to be proud. Saint Mary lost to top-seeded Columbia (Mo.) 13-15, 16-14, 8-15, 15-11, 15-11 in a semifinal match that lasted nearly three hours.

The Flames, ranked No. 4 in the final NAIA national poll, earned their sixth consecutive Midland Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) title in 2000. At the start of the season, Saint Mary showed signs of things to come by defeating 2000 NCAA Division II Tournament participants Metro State and Seattle Pacific.

Throughout his career, Giesselmann has been a program builder and recruiter. Giesselmann took over Winside High School's volleyball program as his first job, winning two conference and district titles. In 1992 Giesselmann took over the volleyball program at Duchesne Academy in Omaha, Neb. where he produced the school's best record ever in his only season at the school.

A five-time MCAC Coach of the Year winner, Giesselmann's first recruiting class at CSM helped lead the team to a 21-15 record and a conference tournament championship.  It was only the second time in the previous 10 years the team had finished with a winning record.

After his first season, Giesselmann's teams have averaged 30 wins per year. He has taken the program to five straight regional berths. He became the first volleyball coach in school history to lead the Flames to the NAIA national championship tournament during the 1998 season.

Because of his team's success, Giesselmann has garnered numerous coaching awards, including the 1996 Tachikara/AVCA NAIA Region Coach of the Year. Giesselmann was honored by the Omaha Sportscasters Association in January 1997 for the program's success.

 Tachikara will formally present the National Coach of the Year award on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000, in Richmond, Va., at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet.  The brunch, which will begin at 9 a.m. at the Richmond Marriott Hotel, is held in conjunction with the 2000 AVCA National Convention.

Photo: Paul Giesselmann (right) accepts the Tachikara/AVCA NAIA National Coach of the Year Award from Tachikara's Roger Revelle. Photo By: Pete Wright

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