2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coaches of the Year
2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coaches of the YearSM Announced
Lexington, Ky. - The following coaches have been selected by their region as the 2006 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coach of the YearSM. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the 2006 Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the YearSM ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the 2006 Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the YearSM and Victory ClubSM Awards banquet in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, Dec. 14, at the 2006 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention.
Tachikara/AVCA Central Region Coach of the YearSM
Santiago Restrepo, University of Oklahoma
2006 Record: 28-5, 17-3 Big 12
Santiago Restrepo has led the University of Oklahoma to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I Tournament in what has been a record-breaking season for the Sooner program. Oklahoma achieved its best Big 12 mark in school history (17-3) for a second-place finish, while recording the best one-year turnaround in Big 12 history with 15 more conference victories than last season. The Sooners also posted their highest regular season winning percentage (.839), after compiling a 26-5 regular season record. After earning a national ranking for the first time in 18 years, the Sooners are currently ranked No. 12 in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll, the highest ranking in school history. They are playing in only their fourth NCAA Tournament, and are making only their second trip to the round of sixteen. This is the first time Restrepo has won the Tachikara/AVCA Division I Central Region Coach of the Year honor.
Tachikara/AVCA East Region Coach of the YearSM
Jolene Nagel, Duke University
2006 Record: 29-4, 21-1 ACC
Jolene Nagel led Duke University to a 29-4 overall record and a 21-1 mark in the ACC in 2006, as the Blue Devils captured their first ACC championship since 1994. By winning the ACC title, the Blue Devils earned an NCAA Division I Tournament berth for the fifth time in eight seasons under Nagel, and advanced to the second round of the national competition. Duke also received its first ranking in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll since 1994 this season, and is currently ranked No. 22. The 29 overall wins are a new high under Nagel, are the fourth-most in school history, and are the most since 1993, when the Blue Devils went 30-3. Duke's 21 wins in the ACC set a new conference record for most wins in a season, breaking the 18-win total set by North Carolina and Maryland last year. This is Nagel's second Tachikara/AVCA Division I East Region Coach of the Year honor, with the other coming in 2000. She was also the Tachikara/AVCA Division I District 1 Coach of the Year in 1998, while head coach at Georgetown.
Tachikara/AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the YearSM
Mike Hebert, University of Minnesota
2006 Record: 25-7, 17-3 Big Ten
In his eleventh season as head coach at the University of Minnesota, Mike Hebert has led his team to a 25-7 record, and a second place finish in the Big Ten Conference. After spending the first four weeks of the season unranked, the Golden Gophers now find themselves ranked No. 9 in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll, and are seeded No. 8 in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The Golden Gophers enter the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals having won 15 of their last 17 matches, giving them their seventh 25-win season under Hebert. Prior to his arrival, Minnesota had only reached 25 wins twice and had never reached 30 wins during the NCAA Era, a mark they have reached twice under Hebert's direction. One of the top four active women's volleyball coaches in career wins, Hebert has now won the Tachikara/AVCA Division I Mideast Region Coach of the Year twice, also winning in 2002. He was also the Tachikara/AVCA Division I District 2 Coach of the Year in 1999.
Tachikara/AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the YearSM
Kathy Litzau, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2006 Record: 24-6, 13-1 Horizon League
Now in her 14th season at the helm of a Wisconsin-Milwaukee program that won just three matches the year before she was hired, Kathy Litzau led the Panthers to their eighth Horizon League regular season title this season, winning at least 20 matches for the ninth time under her direction. The Panthers cruised to the title, going 13-1 in the regular season, giving Litzau 131 career league victories, by far the most of any active league coach. After winning 9 of 10 games and capturing the Horizon Tournament, the Panthers earned the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Tournament. Named the Horizon League Coach of the Year for the seventh time in 14 seasons, Litzau wins her first Tachikara/AVCA Division I Midwest Region Coach of the Year. She was also named the 1999 Tachikara/AVCA Division I District 6 Coach of the Year.
Tachikara/AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the YearSM
Joanne Persico-Smith, St. John's University
2006 Record: 31-5, 14-0 BIG EAST
Joanne Persico-Smith has been at the helm of the St. John's University volleyball program since the beginning, as it transformed from a one-time club team. The Red Storm went 30-4 in the regular season, the program's best record since its inception in 1994, winning the BIG EAST regular season title after being the first team since 2001 to post a perfect conference record (14-0). St. John's added another record to its long list of achievements this season as the Red Storm earned an at-large bid to NCAA Division I Tournament, the program's first-ever trip to the national competition. After winning their first-ever NCAA Tournament match, the Red Storm fell to the No. 8 overall seed Minnesota in a five-game thriller. The Red Storm also made its first appearance in program history on a CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll this season, coming in one week at No. 24. After winning her first BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor this season, Persico-Smith now takes home her first Tachikara/AVCA Division I Northeast Region Coach of the Year honor.
Tachikara/AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the YearSM
Andy Banachowski, UCLA
2006 Record: 31-3, 15-3 Pac-10
UCLA has been one of the top women's volleyball programs in the country since its beginning in 1965, and Andy Banachowski has lead the Bruins for all but two of those seasons. This season, the Bruins are 31-3 heading into the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I Tournament, and a showdown with No. 12 Oklahoma. UCLA finished tied for second in the Pac-10 this season, the best conference finish for the team since 1999. Winning their first 20 matches this season, UCLA has been in the top ten in every CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll produced, and currently holds a No. 4 ranking. The Bruins have won 12 matches against other teams who have appeared in at least one Top 25 Coaches Poll, and went 5-3 against other Pac-10 schools currently ranked in the poll. Banachowski has now won 1,035 matches in his 40 seasons at UCLA, and wins his first Tachikara/AVCA Division I Pacific Region Coach of the Year award. He was named Tachikara/AVCA Division I District Coach of the Year four times (1989, '92, '93 and '98).
Tachikara/AVCA South Region Coach of the YearSM
Joe Getzin, University of Mississippi
2006 Record: 19-13, 10-10 SEC
In his fifth season as head coach, Joe Getzin took the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) from a 7-22, 1-15 SEC season in 2005 to a 19-13, 10-10 SEC season and fifth place conference finish in 2006. The 10 SEC wins ties the school record for conference wins set in 1979, and is the first time Ole Miss has reached the 10-win mark in the conference in the 27 seasons since. The Rebels posted their first overall winning season since 1996, and earned the program's first-ever berth into the NCAA Division I Tournament. A win over then-No. 11 LSU, the first win over a ranked team in program history, highlighted the list of wins for the Rebels this season. That list also includes sweeping the season series against Arkansas for the first time ever, posting the program's first win over Alabama since 1997 and the first win over South Carolina since 1992. The first Ole Miss coach to ever win SEC Coach of the Year honors, Getzin is also honored with the Tachikara/AVCA Division I South Region Coach of the Year for the first time.
Tachikara/AVCA West Region Coach of the YearSM
Beth Launiere, University of Utah
2006 Record: 28-4, 16-0 Mountain West
Beth Launiere took over a Utah program in 1990 that had won only one match in all of 1989. Now 17 years later, she took her ninth consecutive team to the NCAA Division I Tournament, won her fifth Mountain West Conference title, and has recorded eleven straight 20-win seasons (12 overall). Utah began the season ranked No. 24 in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll, and rode a school record 25-match win streak to a No. 9 rating late in the season. The win streak included a 16-0 mark in the conference during the regular season, and saw the Utes lose more than one game only once during that time. Entering the NCAA Tournament as the No. 11 team in the Coaches Poll, Launiere guided the Utes to the second round for the seventh time. Launiere wins her second Tachikara/AVCA Division I West Region Coach of the Year honor, the first coming in 2001.