2004 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coaches of the Year
2004 Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coaches of the Year Announced
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The following coaches have been selected by their region as Tachikara/AVCA Division I Region Coach of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year and Victory Club Awards banquet in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 16, at the 2004 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention. Seven of the eight coaches have led their teams to the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship regional semifinal round.
Tachikara/AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year
Jerritt Elliott, University of Texas
2004 Record: 26-4 (16-4 Big 12)
Elliott has improved the Texas Longhorns by 11 victories in 2004 from last season's 15-14 record and seventh-place finish in the Big 12. He has mentored the Longhorns to a number-10 ranking in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll with only two seniors and no juniors on the active roster. Elliott rotates eight players into matches using four true freshmen, including first-year players at setter and libero. Texas finished second in the Big 12 standings this year with a 16-4 record and went undefeated in non-conference matches. The Longhorns hold five wins over current ranked teams, including a rare 3-1 road victory at then-fifth-ranked Florida. Texas, which failed to reach the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in tournament history in 2003, was awarded the sixth-seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. Elliott also was honored as the 2000 Tachikara/AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the Year while guiding University of Southern California.
Tachikara/AVCA East Region Coach of the Year
Bond Shymansky, Georgia Tech
2004 Record: 27-6 (16-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)
Shymansky has led Georgia Tech into the NCAA Tournament region semifinal round with a 27-6 overall record in 2004. The Yellow Jackets captured the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title with an undefeated 16-0 record. Georgia Tech recovered from a rigorous opening three weeks in which it posted a 2-5 record with four losses coming against current ranked opponents. The Yellow Jackets have won 25 of its last 26 matches and returned to the national rankings on Dec. 6 at number 20. Georgia Tech defeated UC Santa Barbara in the NCAA Tournament second round to move on to the Sweet 16. Shymansky has a 94-16 record in three seasons as head coach of the Yellow Jackets, including a 44-4 ACC mark. He has guided Georgia Tech to three NCAA Tournament berths, including a region final appearance in 2003. The Yellow Jackets have averaged 31 wins a season under his tutelage.
Tachikara/AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year
Jim Stone, The Ohio State University
2004 Record: 29-3 (17-3 Big Ten)
Stone has helped Ohio State to an 18-match improvement over last year's team, which failed to qualify for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. The Buckeyes have advanced to this weekend's NCAA Tournament region semifinal round after winning their 29th match of the season against in-state rival Ohio University. Ohio State began the season by winning its first 19 matches after being picked sixth in the Big Ten Conference Preseason Poll. Ohio State finished tied for second in the league and currently ranks seventh in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes hold 13 wins against teams that qualified for the 2004 NCAA Tournament, including second-seed Penn State and fourth-seed Minnesota. Stone has been selected Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year four times, including the 1988, 1989 and 1991 seasons.
Tachikara/AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Leonid Yelin, University of Louisville
2004 Record: 30-2 (13-0 Conference USA)
Yelin led the Cardinals to an undefeated Conference USA season, league tournament championship and berth in the NCAA Division I National Women's Volleyball Championship region semifinals. Louisville has claimed at least a share of the C-USA regular title six times in the last nine years, including the league championship four times. Louisville makes its third NCAA Tournament 'Sweet 16' appearance this coming weekend after earning its eighth NCAA Tournament berth in Yelin's nine-year tenure with the Cardinals. Louisville is currently ranked 15th in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Cardinals, playing as the visitor, defeated 24th-ranked Missouri in this year's NCAA Tournament Second Round. Louisville rides a 22-match win streak into the Sweet 16. Yelin holds a 339-99 career coaching record and ranks among the top 10 winningest active NCAA Division I coaches. He was selected Tachikara/AVCA Division II National Coach of the Year in 1995 while leading Barry University to a national championship.
Tachikara/AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year
Erin Appleman, Yale University
2004 Record: 18-8 (9-4 Ivy League)
Appleman, in just her second season as head coach, led Yale to its first NCAA Tournament berth and Ivy League title since 1978. She turned the Bulldog season around in October after starting the conference season 3-4 through Oct. 23. The Bulldogs ran the tables in the league, forcing and winning a four-way conference playoff for the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Yale defeated Harvard and Cornell, both in five games, in the Ivy League playoff to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Yale went on to win the school's and Ivy League's first-ever NCAA Tournament match by defeating Albany on Dec. 2. The Bulldogs racked up a season-high 10-match win streak prior to a home loss to fourth-ranked Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament second round. Appleman has two-year record of 34-17 at Yale. As an assistant women's coach at Penn State for eight seasons prior to taking over the Bulldog program, she helped the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament semifinal round five times.
Tachikara/AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the Year
Jim McLaughlin, University of Washington
2004 Record: 26-2 (16-2 Pac-10)
McLaughlin has led Washington to the school's first-ever Pacific-10 Conference title with a 16-2 record this season. The Huskies opened 2004 with a school-record 22-match win streak, and their only losses have been five-game setbacks to Southern California and Stanford. Washington was ranked as the top team in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll for a seven-week period and never fell below seventh place in 2004. McLaughlin and the Huskies worked around an injury to a returning AVCA All-American, who missed nearly a month of the 2004 season and returned just prior to the NCAA Tournament. Washington, seeded seventh in this year's NCAA Tournament, has advanced to the region semifinal round this weekend. McLaughlin boasts a 161-81 career record over eight seasons as a women's head coach, including an 80-38 mark in four years at Washington. He could become the first coach to win both a men's and women's NCAA volleyball championship as he also directed the USC men's team to the 1990 title.
Tachikara/AVCA South Region Coach of the Year
Rob Patrick, University of Tennessee
2004 Record: 32-2 (15-1 Southeastern Conference)
Patrick has mentored the Tennessee program to a 32-2 record in 2004, an improvement of 10 wins from last year. The Lady Vols shared the Southeastern Conference regular season title with Florida after snapping the Gators' 145-match conference regular season win streak and 12 straight outright league titles in the regular season finale in Gainesville, Fla. Tennessee defeated Florida in the SEC Tournament championship match, the second Lady Vol victory over the Gators on the road in an eight-day span. Tennessee, currently ranked a program-best number nine in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, has advanced to the NCAA Tournament region semifinal round after securing the 12th seed in the tournament. The Lady Vols currently hold a 14-match win streak and also have reeled off two separate nine-match win streaks in 2004. Patrick has served as head coach of the Tennessee program for eight seasons, with a school-record seventh consecutive winning season under his direction.
Tachikara/AVCA West Region Coach of the Year
Dave Shoji, University of Hawai'i
2004 Record: 30-0, (13-0 Western Athletic Conference)
Shoji has led the second-ranked Rainbow Wahine to just their second undefeated regular season, despite having just one returning starter back from 2003. He won his eighth Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year award in 2004 and has guided his team to their 23rd NCAA Tournament. He has the highest winning percentage of any active head coach (.853) with a mark of 870-149-1 and 30 consecutive winning seasons. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, Hawai'i has defeated four current nationally ranked teams and won 11 regular season matches against teams that are in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The Rainbow Wahine have won 65 of their last 66 matches with the only defeat a loss in the national semifinals in 2003. Shoji was named AVCA Region Coach of the Year for the seventh time (1987, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2004). Shoji was honored with the 2002 USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award.