Erin Mellinger - Blinn College
James Exley, Miami Dade College
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (December 18, 2014) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce that Blinn College Head Women's Volleyball Coach Erin Mellinger has been selected as the 2014 Two Year College National Coach of the Year, while Miami Dade College Assistant Coach James Exley has been named the AVCA Two Year College National Assistant Coach of the Year.
In just three seasons at the helm of Buccaneers, Mellinger has already won two NJCAA Division I National Championships. They defeated Miami Dade College in four to give Blinn their 30th combined championship in every sport. Rebecca Reeve led the attack with 25 kills on .388 hitting adding another 10 digs. In total, Blinn had two AVCA/Two Year College All-Americans with Reeve getting first team honors and outside hitter Trinity Alualu getting a second team nod.
Blinn has very talented players, but as for most championship teams the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Their highest ranking statistical categories as a team are sixth in service aces (264) and seventh in hitting percentage (.298). It's certainly a testament to Mellinger's ability to create a dominant squad without an individual player ranking in the top-5 of any major statistical category. The Buccaneers end the season with an astounding 40-1 record winning their final 25 matches.
Exley, in his fourth season at Miami Dade has helped establish the Sharks as one of the top teams in the nation. With his assistance, Miami Dade has played in consecutive NJCAA National Championships. He is in charge of recruiting, and has helped shape their team defense as one to be feared. For the past four years, he has been in charge of the Dig Pink Volleyball event, raising money for breast cancer awareness.
The AVCA formally presented their awards at the 2014 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma earlier today. The luncheon was held in conjunction with the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention.