2011 AVCA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (November 10, 2011) - The following coaches have been selected by their regions as AVCA Region Coaches of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent his/her region on the AVCA National Coach of the Year ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, Dec. 15, at the 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention.
AVCA Division III Central Region Coach of the Year
Tim Mosser, Concordia College
2011 Record: 25-3, 10-1 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Since taking the helm at Concordia College in 1993, Tom Mosser has built his program into annual contenders, reaching the postseason in 2011 for the 8th time in 9 seasons. After a highly successful 2010 season, which saw the Cobbers produce a 24-7 record, Mosser and his squad picked up right where they left off. Concordia finished the regular season with an impressive 25-3 record, including 19 3-0 sweeps of their opponent. The Cobbers cruised through the MIAC in dominating fashion, dropping only one conference matchup. Mosser is no stranger to coaching accolades, as should be expected for a coach whose team is a mainstay in the top-25. This is his second AVCA Division III Coach of the Year award, previously winning in 2006. With a roster full of talented freshmen and sophomores, Mosser looks to be building his team for a bright future. This is his second time taking home the award, with the first coming back in 2006.
AVCA Division III Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Amber Warners, Calvin College
2011 Record: 31-0, 16-0 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
After a 2010 season which saw Amber Warners coach her team to a 35-4 record and a national championship, Warners again has her Calvin College squad in peak performance mode. The Knights finished the 2011 season a perfect 31-0 and enter the postseason poised to defend their championship trophy. Her 10th season as a collegiate volleyball head coach finds her continuing the tradition of success that she has become known for. A standout athlete in both volleyball and softball during her collegiate career, Warners also coached Calvin's softball team for 8 seasons, leading them to an appearance in the NCAA Division III World Series in 1997, a year in which she was named Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. Warners was named AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2010, and took home AVCA Division III Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors in 2006 and 2008.
AVCA Division III Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Mark Birtwistle, Eastern University (Pa.)
2011 Record: 32-2, 7-0 Freedom Conference
After 22 seasons at the helm, Eastern University (PA) head coach Mark Birtwistle will collect his fourth, and second consecutive, honor as the Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year. With this season's record of 32-2, Birtwistle's overall record improves to 529-184, including his 500th win against the University of Scranton on September 3rd. His team rattled off 21 straight wins this season, and was able to achieve their 14th conference championship, and their fourth consecutive in as many years in the Freedom Conference. The only losses for this team came at the hands of No. 3 Emory University and No. 2 Washington-St. Louis, both of which were played on the road. This will be Eastern's fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament and will mark 12 total appearances under the lead of Coach Birtwistle. During his tenure at Eastern, Birtwistle has also served as head coach of the men's golf team, while also serving on the NCAA Regional selection committee.
AVCA Division III Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Julie Hall, Elmhurst University
2011 Record: 30-5, 5-2 College Conference of Illinois Wisconsin
In her 18th season as the Elmhurst Blue Jays head coach, Julie Hall and her squad were able to put together a 30-5 record, including a 17-match win streak spanning from October 4th to November 4th. This year's team was able to regain the national spotlight for the first time since the 2005 season despite having no players above the junior class. Hall led her team to a poll ranking of 16 in the latest regular season poll while also tallying an eighth appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament, the school's first since 2005. Coach Hall also was able to eclipse 450 career wins this season, and with her overall record of 464-224, she is the winningest head coach in school history. She also serves as Elmhurst's assistant athletic director and senior women's administrator. This will be Hall's second time being honored as Midwest Region Coach of the Year, her other occasion being in 2000.
AVCA Division III New England Region Coach of the Year
Karen Corey, Bowdoin College
2011 Record: 26-2, 10-0 New England Small College Athletic Conference
In her sixth season as head coach of the Polar Bears, Corey has led her team to a 26-2 record, the best in school history, and an eight-game improvement from last season's 18-10 record. Other firsts for the school that were accomplished this season include a NESCAC Conference Championship, which will automatically give Bowdoin their first NCAA D-III Tournament appearance. A 17-game win streak during the heart of the season was not only a program record, but also a driving force in the team's undefeated conference record (10-0). Outside of Bowdoin, Coach Corey also serves as the President of the New England Women's Volleyball Association. This is Coach Corey's first time being honored as New England Region Coach of the Year.
AVCA Division III New YorkRegion Coach of the Year
Pam Hoerup, SUNY Cortland
2011 Record: 39-1, 8-0 State University of New York Athletic Conference
In her seventh season as head coach, Hoerup has led the red dragons to an amazing 39-1 record, which has placed them at 18th in the most recent coaches poll. SUNY Cortland defeated SUNY New Paltz in the SUNY Athletic Conference title for an automatic bid in the NCAA DIII Tournament. The SUNYAC title is her fifth in her seven year tenure at Cortland, where she has won 25+ games in each of her seven seasons as head coach. This year's team exceeded expectations by only falling once, to a ranked foe in UMass-Boston. Coach Hoerup surpassed 200 wins this season, bringing her overall record to 222-64. This will be her first time being honored as the New York Region Coach of the Year.
AVCA Division III South Region Coach of the Year
Jenny McDowell, EmoryUniversity
2011 Record: 34-4, 9-1 University Athletic Association
In her 16th year as head coach, McDowell has led the Eagles of Emory to a 34-4 record and a 16th consecutive NCAA D-III Tournament appearance. This season saw McDowell's 500th win as she improved her career record to 510-127. This season's coaches' poll had Emory near the top in nearly every week, including a No. 2 ranking for three consecutive weeks before falling to No.3 Washington-St. Louis in the UAA Conference Championship. This will be Coach McDowell's fourth honor as South Region Coach of the Year (2004, 2005, 2008, 2011), which totals five AVCA awards, including the 2008 DIII National Coach of the Year.
AVCA Division III West Region Coach of the Year
Rick Swan, Colorado College
2011 Record: 31-6, 13-1 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
In his 14th season, Coach Rick Swan continues to see success, tacking on a 14th consecutive winning season and NCAA DIII Tournament appearance. With the first match of the season, Coach Swan reached his 300th career win, giving him an overall record of 330-130. Colorado College won the SCAC title this season for the second year in a row while also finishing with a record of 31-6, placing them at No. 1212 in the most recent AVCA Coaches' Poll, and giving them the top seed in their region for the third straight season. This will be Coach Swan's first time receiving this honor as the West Region Coach of the Year.