2008 Division II Region Coaches of the Year
2008 AVCA Division II Region Coaches of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The following coaches have been selected by their region as the 2008 AVCA Division II Regional Coach of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the 2008 AVCA National Coach of the Year ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the 2008 jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, Dec. 18, at the 2008 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention.
AVCA Division II Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Missy Soboleski, Edinboro University
2008 Record: 26-9, 10-2 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Missy Soboleski completed her fourth year at Edinboro University with another successful season. She led her team to a 26-8 overall record, a 10-2 record and second place finish in the western division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), and had two players named to the All-PSAC West Team. The Fighting Scots went on to make their second straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament, where they lost to Slippery Rock in the Atlantic Regional Tournament. It was the third time in four years that Soboleski guided Edinboro into the NCAA Division II Tournament. Soboleski now holds a 232-231 overall record in her 13-year coaching career, and a 99-53 record with the Fighting Scots. This is the first time Soboleski has received AVCA Division II Atlantic Region Coach of the Year honors.
AVCA Division II Central Region Coach of the Year
Brady Starkey, Concordia University-St. Paul
2008 Record: 34-1, 20-0 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
Brady Starkey has his Concordia University-St. Paul Golden Bears in position to become the first back-to-back NCAA Division II national champions since Northern Michigan accomplished the feat in 1993 & 1994. The Golden Bears enter the national quarterfinals 34-1, ranked No. 1 in the country, and recently polished off its fourth undefeated Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) season in five years. CSP has held the top spot in the Bison/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll eight of 12 weeks this season, never falling below No. 3. In just his sixth year at the helm of the Golden Bears, Starkey is the winningest coach in the program's history at 200-20 (.909) going into this year's national quarterfinals, and led them to their only volleyball national championship last season. Starkey has now won AVCA Division II North Central Region Coach of the Year four times in the past six years (2003, 2005, 2007, 2008).
AVCA Division II East Region Coach of the Year
Robin Salters, University of New Haven
2008 Record: 31-3, 14-0 Northeast-10 Conference
Robin Salters has led her University of New Haven Chargers to the national quarterfinals for the first time since 2002, and the eleventh time in the program's history. New Haven ran the table in their first season in the Northeast-10 Conference, including taking three matches to win the conference tournament. The Chargers have not lost since Sept. 13, compiling a winning streak of 27 consecutive matches going into their national quarterfinal showdown with defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul. With a 31-3 record thus far in 2008, Salters' career mark now stands at 429-131 (.776), with 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, in 15 seasons at New Haven. This marks the fifth time Salters has won an AVCA Division II Region Coach of the Year Award, the last coming in 2006.
AVCA Division II Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Will Stanton, Saginaw Valley State University
2008 Record: 25-8, 11-5 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
In his fifth season at the helm of the Saginaw Valley State University volleyball program, Will Stanton has continued to guide the program to new heights. The 2008 campaign saw the Cardinals turn in a 25-8 overall record, tying the school record for wins in a season. Under Stanton's leadership, Saginaw Valley advanced to its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tournament final for the first time in history, where it fell to arch nemesis Grand Valley State in four sets. The firsts didn't stop there, as the Cardinals were selected to their first-ever NCAA Tournament, where they exceeded expectations, advancing to the Midwest Region final. Stanton led the squad to an 8-0 record to begin the season, and the team ended the campaign just as strong, winning 10 of its last 12 contests. This is the first time that Stanton has won the AVCA Division II Midwest Coach of the Year award.
AVCA Division II South Region Coach of the Year
Chris Catanach, University of Tampa
2008 Record: 27-5, 12-3 Sunshine State Conference
Chris Catanach continues to keep the University of Tampa on the road to success. Now in his 25th season with the Spartans, Catanach led his team to a 27-5 overall record and a 12-3 Sunshine State Conference (SSC) record. That conference record gave Tampa its fourth straight and 17th overall conference title, and its 12th straight and 23rd overall NCAA Division II Tournament appearance. He also earned the 2008 Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year award for the 14th time. Ranked No. 6 in the most current Bison/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, Tampa reached the semifinals of the South Regional tournament, where they lost to West Florida. In his career, Catanach now holds a 779-151 career record and has made 11 trips to the NCAA Division II Elite 8, has had two national runner-up finishes and won the 2006 National Championship. This is the fourth consecutive time, and 12th overall, that Catanach has earned AVCA Division II South Region Coach of the Year honors.
AVCA Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year
Shelton Collier, Wingate University
2008 Record: 31-2, 16-0 South Atlantic Conference
Shelton Collier had another successful season at Wingate University, leading the Bulldogs to a 31-2 overall record and an undefeated 16-0 first place finish in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). It was the third-consecutive year Wingate has won the SAC, and for his efforts, Collier picked up his second-consecutive SAC Coach of the Year award. Wingate also qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament, the fourth time in the last five years, and went on to reach the semifinals of the Southeast Regional Tournament, where they lost to Catawba College. In his 26-year collegiate coaching career, Collier now sports a 741-257 overall record, and a 174-50 record in his seven years at Wingate. This is the first time Collier has received the AVCA Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year award. He previously earned AVCA Southeast Region Coach of the Year during his tenure at Division I Georgia Tech.
AVCA Division II South Central Region Coach of the Year
Bing Xu, Emporia State University
2008 Record: 34-4, 18-2 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
In just his fourth season as the head coach at Emporia State University, Bing Xu and his program have already accomplished great things. The Hornets, under XU's guidance, set a league-record for conference wins in a season en route to capturing their first-ever Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAA) title in 2008. Emporia State, who ran up a 34-4 overall mark on the season, advanced to its third NCAA Division II Tournament in as many years, advancing to the South Central Region finals before falling to Truman State. Xu's squad, currently the No. 5 team in the Bison/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, have been ranked in all 13 national polls this season, never falling below 16th. In his four years as the Hornets' mentor, Xu has compiled an overall record of 100-37. This honor marks the first AVCA Division II South Central Region Coach of the Year award for Xu.
AVCA Division II West Region Coach of the Year
Kim Cherniss, California State University, San Bernardino
2008 Record: 28-3, 17-3 California Collegiate Athletic Association
Kim Cherniss has continued to guide California State University, San Bernardino to success, as the Coyotes earned the No. 1 West Region ranking for the third consecutive year. Under Cherniss' leadership in 2008, CSUSB captured its sixth California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship and earned its ninth-straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament, where the Coyotes swept through the opposition to claim the West Region title and earn a trip to the NCAA Round of Eight. CSUSB has racked up a 28-3 overall record to date, is riding a current eight-match win streak (all coming in sweeping fashion) and handed defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul its only loss of the season. The Coyotes, the current No. 2 team in the Bison/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, have been ranked in each of the season's 13 polls, including spending two weeks atop the throne. In her 18 seasons at the helm of the CSUSB program, Cherniss has earned 352 victories. Cherniss has now won her third AVCA Division II West Region Coach of the Year award (2001, 2003, 2008).