2008 AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year


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Jenny McDowell - Emory University 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (November 25, 2008) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Emory University head women's volleyball coach Jenny McDowell has been selected as the 2008 Division III AVCA National Coach of the Year.


In 13 seasons as the Emory head coach, McDowell has led the Eagles program to national prominence, most recently adding the 2008 NCAA Division III national championship  - the school's first in history - to their growing list of accomplishments. Along the road to title glory, Emory upended then-No. 13 Southwestern (Texas) 3-2 at host site Trinity (Texas) to earn its fourth NCAA quarterfinal appearance in the past five years. After knocking off St. Benedict (Minn.), the Eagles overcame a two-set deficit to defeat then-No. 8 Ohio Northern 3-2, and upended then-No. 4 La Verne in the national championship match.


Emory began the season as the No. 3 ranked team in the Bison/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll and never dipped lower. The Eagles have earned a spot as one of the poll's Top 20 teams every season since the 1997 campaign under McDowell's guidance, and Emory's 35-6 overall mark in 2008 broke the program record for victories in a season. 


Prior to becoming the Eagles' mentor, McDowell served as the assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of Georgia, for five seasons. During her time at Emory, McDowell has compiled a career record of 406-112 and ranks among the top Division III coaches all-time in winning percentage. Under her leadership, the Eagles have secured ten seasons in which they have won 30 or more matches, and McDowell-led squads have earned a berth in 13 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The taskmaster earned her 400th career victory on November 7, in Emory's sweep of conference foe Brandeis University. McDowell has earned AVCA South Region Coach of the Year honors a trifecta of times in her tenure (2004, 2005, 2008), and this marks her first-ever distinction as the National Coach of the Year.


The AVCA will formally present the Division III National Coach of the Year award to McDowell at the 2008 jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, December 18.  The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2008 AVCA Annual Convention.


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