1996 Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year

12/16/1996

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Florida's Mary Wise Selected Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year

Cleveland, Ohio - Tachikara and the American Volleyball Coaches Association are pleased to announce that Mary Wise of the University of Florida has been selected as the 1996 Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year.

This season, Wise has led the Gators to its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll and into the national semifinals for the third time in the last five years. Florida returned just two starters from last year's squad that finished 35-2 and placed two seniors on the AVCA All-America teams. After dropping the first match of the year against then-No. 1 ranked Hawai`i in five-games, Wise's squad has responded by rolling off 36 consecutive wins heading into tomorrow's semifinal rematch against the Rainbow Wahine (ESPN2 live, 6 p.m. ET). Significant wins for the Gators this year includes victories over nationally ranked Texas, Michigan State, Ohio State, UCLA and South Florida.

In her six seasons at Florida, the Gators have won the SEC title every season with a 68-2 record along with an overall record of 202-20. In NCAA play, she has guided the Gators to a 13-5 record during her tenure. Florida is looking to make its first-ever appearance in a national championship match.

Tachikara will formally present the coach of the year awards on Thursday, Dec. 19, 1996, in Cleveland, Ohio. The luncheon, which begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, is held in conjunction with the 1996 AVCA National Convention.

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