Wilfred Navalta - BYU-Hawai'i
Christyn May - Minnesota Duluth
LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 12, 2012) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce that BYU-Hawai'i head women's volleyball coach Wilfred Navalta has been selected as the 2012 AVCA Division II National Coach of the Year, while Minnesota Duluth assistant coach Christyn May has been named the AVCA Division II National Assistant Coach of the Year.
All of the way out in Hawai'i lies one of the top coaches in the country, and in 2012 he is honored as the best in Division II. In his 27th season at the helm of the Seasiders, Navalta has compiled an amazing 611-145 record after a stellar 2012 campaign that saw his squad go 25-4 and make an appearance in the national semifinals in Pensacaloa, Florida. They were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by the now six-time defending champion Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears.
The team was ranked first in Pacific West Conference matches with an undefeated finish of 16-0. They established themselves as one of the top teams in nation, having been ranked in the top-10 of the AVCA Coaches Poll for the vast majority of the season. Due to their excellent regular season, BYU-Hawaii was selected as the host of the West Region of the NCAA Tournament. Three BYUH players were named to the West All-Region Team and as AVCA All-Americans: Ying Chun Chen, Shih Ting Chen, and Lauren Hagermeyer.
Navalta has won eight NAIA National Championships and two Division II Championships during his tenure at BYUH. He was honored as National Coach of the Year in 1999 and 1996. Navalta won NAIA Regional Coach of the Year awards in 1996 and 1997, and he won the Division II West Region Coach of the Year in 1998, making 2012 his second DII Region Coach of the Year award.
In her eighth season as the assistant coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth, May has been a key piece to the Bulldogs dominance in Division II volleyball. With her assisting head coach Jim Boos, they have made the NCAA Tournament every year she has been on staff. In 2012, UMD finished the season with a 29-5 overall record, advancing to the regional semifinals in what is widely regarded as the most difficult region in the country.
May came to the Bulldogs following a four-year stint at her alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She began on the Mavericks' sidelines as a student assistant before continuing as a graduate assistant, and ultimately serving as a volunteer assistant coach. May has also served as the head coach for the Duluth Area Junior Olympic volleyball team since 2004.
The AVCA will formally present both coaches their awards at the 2012 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday, December 13th. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2012 AVCA Annual Convention.