Al Bennett and Angie Spangenberg Named National High School Coaches of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (November 24, 2014) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Al Bennett, head girls volleyball coach at Westlake High School in Austin, TX, and Angie Spangenberg, head girls volleyball coach at Harlan Community High School in Harlan, IA, have been selected as the 2014 AVCA National High School Coaches of the Year.
You'd be hard-pressed to find another high school coach in the country with a more impressive resume than Al Bennett. Now in his 27th year at the helm of the Chaparrals, this season they went 42-5 including a perfect 16-0 district record. In one of the best volleyball states in the country, they are currently ranked eighth in Texas and 25th nationally. They advanced all of the way to the 2014 Volleyball 6A Regions 2 and 4 Quarterfinals. In total, Bennett is a four-time state champion.
He originally went to Westlake in 1988, and has gone on to win 911 matches in his career including a four-time State Tournament runner-up, 23 District Championships and a State Playoffs appearance in every one of his seasons. He's sent 73 of his players to play on college rosters, while seven of them have been selected as AVCA High School All-Americans and two Texas Gatorade Players of the Year. His teams have also hit the books, earning the AVCA Team Academic Award in every year of the award's existence in the 1992-1993 season.
Individually, in 2006 he was selected the 4A/5A Texas Coach of the Year, and coached the TGCA All-Star Game. However, he's more than just a volleyball coach. He has served as the Associate and Assistant Athletics Director for the Eanes Independent School District overseeing 18 varsity sports. There's also a chance you may have seen him leading clinics at any of the numerous conventions, including the AVCA Convention. In the field of education and coaching, Bennett has proven to be one of the most significant figures over nearly the last three decades.
Angie Spangenberg has led her team to a 41-2 record en route to their second consecutive Class 4-A State Volleyball Championship. However, the past two seasons have been no aberration with 2014 marking her 13th appearance in that State Tournament. Her unblemished mark of 10-0 in conference play gave her the eighth Hawkeye 10 Conference Titles.
In her 22nd year of coaching (fourth at Harlan), she has compiled 566 victories while sending 25 of her players to compete at the collegiate level. In addition to those 25, 10 of her former players have gone on to coach at some level of interscholastic volleyball. Spangenberg's love and passion for coaching and volleyball is infectious.
First coaching at Red Oak High School (Red Oak, IA) just 55 miles away from Harlan, to this day both communities have embraced the impact she has had on everyone's lives and respect what she's accomplished. She is a two-time Iowa Coach of the Year (1998 and 2013) and in 2014 took home the Omaha Herald's Western Iowa Coach of the Year for all sports. She became just the fourth woman in the 48 years of the award's existence to win the honor.
Additionally, she has served on many local and national committees to help improve volleyball and athletics from the top: NFHS Volleyball Rules Committee, IGHSAU Rules Committee, IA Hall of Fame Jury, Senior All Star Selection Committee, Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
The AVCA will formally present the National High School Coach of the Year awards to Bennett and Spangenberg at the 2014 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Oklahoma City, OK on Thursday, December 18th. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention.
As a result of winning AVCA National Coach of the Year honors, the two coaches will lead Team East and Team West in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Challenge, Friday, December 19th at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Tickets for the Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Challenge are on sale now through Ticketmaster.