Lexington, KY (May 17, 2016): The Board of Directors of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) affirmed their commitment to the development of minority coaches at their spring meeting on May 6, 2016. Minority coach development will be funded with the proceeds from the auction held at the annual AVCA Convention and fund raising from the membership and interested individuals in the athletics community.
“The Board was unanimous in their support of this initiative,” said AVCA President Christy Johnson-Lynch. “We did not want the loss of the NCAA grant money to serve as a reason to discontinue our investment in this important initiative. Our goal is to raise $15,000 annually to support initiatives in this area. We will task an advisory group with assisting the staff in developing programming.”
The AVCA has been engaged in minority coaching development for 13 consecutive years, 12 of those funded by an NCAA Diversity grant that was not renewed in August of 2015 due to budget cuts in the division. Sharon Clark, head coach at Butler University and current AVCA Board member, was one of the authors of the first grant proposal and has served on the Minority Coaches Committee since 2004.
“This has been a labor of love for all of us,” said Clark, “Penny Lucas-White, Ruth Lawanson, and Deitre Collins-Parker have all served with passion and distinction these 13 years. Through our efforts several hundred minority coaches have been touched by this program and these coaches have, in turn, given many young players a model for success beyond their playing days.”
Per the most recent NCAA data the number of minority women coaching volleyball increased from 95 in 1995-96 to 242 in 2009-10, a percentage change from 6.1% to 9.1%.
“While we were disappointed by the loss of NCAA support, it forced us to examine what is important to our coaching community,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “I applaud the Board for their commitment to diversity in coaching, and I salute the strong, committed, and pioneering women who recognized the importance of diversity many years ago. We are eager to build on their work.”