AVCA Reaches New Heights at the 2014 AVCA Spring Conference
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2014) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is excited to announce the completion of a record-setting Spring Conference last weekend in Chicago, Ill. Over 320 coaches flooded the Doubletree on Chicago's North Shore and Evanston Township High School for the seventh annual spring event on May 1-3. The weekend featured coaching education, networking and mingling with key volleyball product suppliers. Also on hand were representatives from AVCA partners USA Volleyball, the Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) and the NCAA.
"When the 20-percenters get together good things happen for volleyball," said AVCA Executive Director, Kathy DeBoer, "Everyone who comes to the Spring Conference, from the AVCA board to the coaches who attend, from the outstanding presenters to the engaged exhibitors are part of the 20% of people moving our sport forward. It's an exhilarating environment, that's for sure!"
The AVCA Spring Conference featured over 20 educational coaching sessions from the nation's top coaches at all levels. NCAA Division I runner-up Kelly Sheffield talked about how to better communicate with your team as well demonstrating how his Wisconsin team ranked as one of the top defenses in the nation. AVCA President and Illinois Head Coach Kevin Hambly, Minnesota Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon and Louisville Head Coach Anne Kordes all shared their considerable expertise. Also presenting were nine-time national champion, Springfield Head Coach Charlie Sullivan, U.S. Men's National Team and UCLA Men's Coach John Speraw and 2013 NCAA Champion and UC Irvine Head Coach David Kniffin. Top junior coach, Cheryl Butler of Sports Performance Volleyball Club, Mother McCauley's Jen DeJarld and Barrington's Rob Ridenour highlighted the club and high school lineup.
A special treat at this year's event was the gathering of eight members of the AVCA Minority Coaches Committee and their 15 scholarship recipients. This is the largest contingent of ‘on-the-way-up' minority coaches to engage in professional development at the Spring Conference. The success caught the eye of the NCAA Leadership Development, funders of the AVCA grant, who sent two staff members to participate in the programming.
Spring Conference attendees were also treated to two firsts: both semi-final matches came down to a fifth-set tie breaker and Loyola Chicago electrified the sold-out Gentile arena crowd by delivering the school's first national championship since the 1960's.
AVCA sends a special thank you to Evanston Township High School for serving as the host of Saturday's educational sessions and to their boys' varsity team for serving as demonstrators. Both certainly 20-percenters!
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to advance the sport of volleyball with AVCA coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy and professional development. With a membership of over 6,400 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.