Coaches 4 Coaches

This scholarship would not be possible without the donations of AVCA member coaches! Please donate today: 2017 AVCA Coaches4Coaches Fundraiser on Crowdrise

Lexington, Ky. (November 6, 2017) – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce the 12 recipients of the 2017 Coaches 4 Coaches Scholarship and the 10 recipients of the AVCA Diversity Award. The scholarships provide the opportunity for up-and-coming volleyball coaches to attend their first AVCA Convention with the scholarship money used to pay for convention registration and hotel costs. Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to interact with successful coaches from all levels and explore the limitless networking and educational opportunities available at the Convention that make this an annual can’t-miss event.

“On behalf of the committee I would like to congratulate the scholarship recipients,” said Coaches 4 Coaches Committee Chair and Morehead State University Head Coach Jaime Gordon. “This was an incredibly talented pool of applicants and a difficult process. We are confident that these 12 represent the passion and commitment of their peers, and will be outstanding ambassadors for the Coaches 4 Coaches program. I am grateful for the time and thorough commitment that the committee has dedicated to these applicants, as well as the many individuals that give so generously to make this program possible.”

In order to be eligible for the C4C Scholarship, applicants must be active AVCA members who are attending their first AVCA Convention. Now in its ninth year, a selection committee reviews the applications and makes their decisions based on academics, contributions to the sport of volleyball on and off the court, a professional letter of recommendation, and a personal written submission outlining their desire to attend the AVCA Annual Convention and their aspirations in coaching.

The Diversity Awards program is the next phase in the evolution of the organization’s diversity initiatives and minority coach development programming. Since 2002, the AVCA has been intentional with targeted programming designed to assist ethnic minority coaches in gaining access to the coaching profession and advance in their coaching careers. The grant funding for the previous Female Ethnic Minority Coaches Workshop has ended and the Diversity Development Team has developed this award as a way to continue the AVCA’s vision for creating opportunities and advancing the volleyball coaching profession. The award consists of full AVCA Convention registration and housing for the ten winners.

“2017 brought the deepest pool of talented aspiring coaches in the history of the award,” said AVCA Diversity Development Team Chair and Butler University Head Coach Sharon Clark. “The Diversity Team had a tough task during the selection process with so many worthy candidates. We are thrilled with this year’s awardees and look forward to them experiencing an informative and invigorating convention.”

This year’s AVCA Convention will be held in Kansas City, Mo. from December 13-17, featuring over 70 educational sessions with more than 2,000 volleyball coaches expected to be in attendance. For more information, please visit the AVCA Convention website: 

2017 coaches 4 coaches scholarship recipients

Jasmine Brown is a University of Louisville Volunteer Assistant. After an outstanding playing career at the University of Tennessee, she has strived to positively impact the student-athletes who are going through similar experiences she once went through. She once set out to be a social worker while coaching on the side, but soon realized that she is her “best self” when coaching: “Helping girls discover their strengths, capitalize on those strengths and experience breakthroughs and moments of true mental and emotional growth are the reasons why I love coaching,” Brown said.

Thomas Corbisiero is a team manager and student at N.C. State University. He manages the team’s social media accounts while also assisting the volleyball program’s coaching and day-to-day operations including stats using Data Volley. While a high school and now men’s club player, he acknowledges he still has a lot to learn from the sidelines, which is why he wants to attend the AVCA Convention. “I would like to say that my dedication to volleyball has been very high from the time I started playing in high school up until right now. I really love the game and could not see any better way to spend the rest of my career than dedicating it to this sport,” he said.

Carly Cramer is a graduate assistant at the University of Kentucky. A former player at Purdue, Cramer has spent the last two years honing her coaching skills under head coach Craig Skinner. Upon graduation, she took a position as a supervisor at a liquid egg processing facility, but soon realized she belongs in volleyball as a coach. “She is constantly being proactive on ways to not only improve herself, but improve each environment she is connected with on a daily basis…I can say with complete confidence that Carly will do extremely well in the coaching world,” said Skinner.

Laurel Deacon is the freshman coach at Duxbury High School in Duxbury, Mass. A great young coach with a high motor, Deacon shares her passion for the sport with her impressionable players. She hopes to inspire a future generation of players while also fostering an atmosphere that she once experienced as a young player herself. She is excited about using this event to make herself the best she can be: “This will be my first time attending the Convention and I am looking forward to every aspect of this experience—the seminars, networking opportunities and watching great matches!”

Bridget Justis is the head volleyball coach at Sulphur High School in Sulphur, La. After an NCAA Volleyball career at Drury University then McNeese State University, 2017 marked her first year in high school on the sidelines. She says her town has the kids and services to create a great program, and knows she can be the one to guide it. “Investing in a person like Bridget will pay dividends for our sport, especially since we all want to see volleyball grow in locales where it is currently underdeveloped. She would greatly appreciate this opportunity and I sincerely believe that volleyball will improve tremendously in our part of the world with her as the driving force,” said McNeese State Head Coach Ashleigh Fitzgerald.

Ryan Leary is a graduate assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He’s in charge of Data Volley for the Rams program while also handling many day-to-day logistics that typically surround a first-place Atlantic 10 team. He got his start while at the University of Kansas, when head coach Ray Bechard brought him on as a student manager. “His ability to problem solve and take on the challenges of organizing/communicating with various on campus departments made Ryan such a valuable part of our staff, and showed a great deal of growth and reliability,” said Bechard.

Jacqueline Macy is graduate assistant at the University of Redlands while also pursuing her Master of Arts in Learning & Teaching Multiple Subjects at the school. A former setter at Colgate University, her primary responsibilities with the Bulldogs are with the setters and the team offensive system. In her spare time, Macy coaches for a small, local club that focuses on growing the game for low-income players. “Volleyball is what I love to do and be a part of, and being able to continually be involved in this sport as my competitive playing years are now over is one of the greatest blessings,” she said.

Whitney Miller is a graduate assistant at Springfield College. She’s been handling recruiting efforts as well as the setters for the Pride, where she was a setter herself from 2011-2015. “Whitney’s personality is infectious. She makes those around her want to be better, want to expand the possibilities of their talent and to want to grow. She is a phenomenal coach but more important, human being,” said Springfield Head Coach Moira Long.

Stevi Robinson is an assistant coach at The Citadel. She has an impressive playing career in both indoor and on the beach at Pepperdine, winning the West Coast Conference Libero of the Year, and helped the Waves capture the AVCA Sand Team National Championship. She would later go on to become an AVCA All-American and an AVCA Beach Pairs National Champion at the University of Southern California. With The Citadel, just a few responsibilities are creating practice plans, and designing offensive and defensive systems. “There is always room for improvement and if I am expecting my players to continue to get better, I have to continue to get better as a coach,” she said.

Chelsea Ross is a student at Georgia State University getting her Master of Arts in Teaching. Her love of volleyball started at a young age as her mother was also a player and coach. Ross went on to play four years at Middle Tennessee State (where she also coached club) before spending one season on the sand at Georgia State. GSU Panthers Head Coach Sally Polhamus knows Ross will have a fantastic career as a volleyball coach: “Our goal is to train our athletes to their highest level in the sport of volleyball, to execute in pressure situations, overcome adversity, and to mentor them to be strong, confident women that are well balanced mentally, physically, and socially. Chelsea will thrive as a leader in this culture.”

Kayla Schanback is a senior libero at Campbell University. She was shown volleyball early on in her life by her parents, and hasn’t looked back. Finishing up her playing career as a Camel, she is eager to make the transition to the sidelines. “I want to engage others in the sport of volleyball, and show them how easy it is to fall in love with the game,” she said.

Tania Schatow is a volunteer assistant at Louisiana State University. She had a prolific career as a Tiger before playing professionally in Europe in France and Belgium, where she also coached high school aged boys and girls. This marks her first year as a coach in the United States, and would like to continue down the path of becoming a full-time NCAA Division I Volleyball coach. “Her best attribute is her ability to communicate with our players. Many young coaches possess great knowledge of this game, but very few have the natural ability as a true teacher to share that information effectively with their player,” said LSU Head Coach Fran Flory.


 Click here to view the AVCA Diversity Award Recipients