2018 AVCA Hall of Fame selections
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 27, 2018) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce the 16th annual AVCA Hall of Fame class. Jean Kesterson, Glen Lietzke, and Sue Sinclair will all be honored in ceremonies at the 2018 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2018 AVCA Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.
The AVCA annually recognizes those individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and the sport with the AVCA Hall of Fame. The first AVCA Hall of Fame class, a total of 23 individuals who had earned either the AVCA Founders Award or AVCA Excellence in Education Award, was honored at the 2003 AVCA Convention. These three will make a total of 80 members in the AVCA Hall of Fame. Longtime Florida State Head Coach Cecile Reynaud was named to enter the Hall of Fame in 2017, but will be formally inducted this year.
Jean Kesterson is the type of coach that will have a long-lasting impact on the sport for generations to come. It isn’t just her astounding 826-166 record coaching the Cathedral High School (Indianapolis, IN) Girls Volleyball team, or her eight state championships, but the values she instilled in her players over her 40-year coaching career.
After spending a combined seven years leading the Bishop Chatard Volleyball squad and the NCAA’s Valparaiso, she joined the Fighting Irish in 1989 and never looked back. She rattled off 30-win seasons 17 times in her tenure, including an undefeated 2015 team that marked the program’s first national championship. For the incredible season, Kesterson was named the AVCA National High School Co-Coach of the Year, and the head coach of Team West in the Under Armour All-America Match. When she stepped aside after the 2016 campaign, she presided over 20 teams honored with the AVCA Team Academic Award.
Kesterson has continued to stay involved in the volleyball community after her coaching retirement. She was elected the first ever president when the Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association to help promote the highest standard of coaching in the state. This is just the most recent example of her taking on leadership, speaking, and committee positions to help advance the sport across the Hoosier State and the country.
“While having high expectations of the student-athletes she coaches, does not carry the persona that one might think is typical of a highly successful coach,” said IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Chris Kaufman. “In observing Jean over her long career, it is most apparent that she coaches at a different level than her peers. This approach has not only served her well on the court, but has prepared her players for life after high school and volleyball.”
Glen Lietzke has been a visionary in the volleyball coaching world, always dreaming about what more he and others could be doing to improve the sport. His list of accolades is numerous, but pale in comparison to the countless players he’s had a positive influence on over his 35-year coaching career.
After brief stints at Hopkins Eisenhower High School, the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, and Southwest Missouri State, he began the next phase of his coaching career that put him on the hall of fame path. In 1984, he founded and is the current Director and President of the Austin Juniors Volleyball Board of Directors. That same year, he became an assistant coach at the University of Texas, where he went on to win 12 conference titles and the NCAA Championship in his 18-year stint with the Longhorns.
With Austin Juniors, Lietzke was crowned a USA Junior National Champion twice in 2007 and 2011 as the 17 Open Head Coach. His club offers girls and boys indoor as well as beach, with college commitments and alumni spanning the nation. For his incredible contributions, he received USA Volleyball’s George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award in 1998.
“It’s obvious when watching Glen coach his teams that he is deeply respected and sincerely loved by his players, and completely immersed in every facet of the match,” said Texas A&M Head Coach Laurie Corbelli. “Glen has mentored hundreds of coaches, players, and administrators in volleyball, and I can’t think of another United States Club Director who has had such an amazing positive impact on so many lives.”
As a college setter at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale she racked up over 2,000 assists, so it should come as no surprise she became such a distributer of knowledge as a coach and administrator. She’s a two-time NJCAA Volleyball Coaches President, and a former board member at the AVCA and USA Volleyball.
Upon taking the head coaching job at the NJCAA Division II Illinois Central College, she has accumulated over 900 career victories and 18 appearances in the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. In 2009, her Cougars took home the NJCAA Championship in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Sinclair has mentored dozens of student-athletes to NJCAA All-American accolades. She has created a culture of success that includes graduating her players to four-year institutions where they have gone on to continue their volleyball careers and education.
There’s been no shortage of personal awards herself. In 2009, she took home AVCA National Coach of the Year honors, while also being named the AVCA Midwest Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2009. In 2004, Sinclair was inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“Sue has been a servant leader for the Two-Year College Volleyball Community. She is an advocate for our sport, a mentor, a consummate professional, and the type of coach I aspire to be,” said Central Community College Head Coach Mary Young.