2000 Tachikara/AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year


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2000 AVCA Division III Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year


Kris RussellColorado Springs, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), in conjunction with Tachikara USA, Inc., is proud to announce that Kris Russell of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has been selected the 2000 Tachikara/AVCA NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.

Russell led Wisconsin-Whitewater, 40-2, to the NCAA Division III Final Four before losing to two-time defending national champion Central College in the title match. She holds a 677-208 won-loss record (.765 percentage) and led Wisconsin-Whitewater to its eighth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. The Warhawks, which entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 ranked team in the AVCA Division III Coaches Top 20 poll, split with Central during the regular season with each team winning as the visitor. However, Central utilized the home-court advantage to garner the championship.

Wisconsin-Whitewater, on the heels of a 32-5 record in 1999, started the season ranked No. 9 in the national poll, but steadily improved to take its shot at the national title. The Warhawks won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with an 8-0 record and won 33 of its 40 matches in straight games.

Russell, who concluded her 20th season at the helm of Wisconsin-Whitewater, has been selected as the Tachikara/AVCA Division III Coach of the Year three times (1988, 1995 and 2000).  She has previously served as chair of both the AVCA's Division III All-America selection committee and the All-Midwest Region selection committee. She ranks sixth among active Division III coaches by winning percentage  and fourth by total wins.

Russell has developed one of the most successful women's volleyball programs in the Wisconsin Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC) and at the NCAA Division III level. She has led the Warhawks to 25 wins or more in all 20 seasons. Russell has coached seven WWIAC/WIAC championship teams and 13 have participated in the NCAA Division III tournament, with a third-place finish in the 1995 tournament and a fourth-place finish in the 1988 tournament.

Warhawk volleyball players have earned All-WWIAC/WIAC honors 42 times during Russell's tenure, four have earned the WWIAC/WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award, 29 have earned AVCA All-Region honors and 11 players have earned 22 different All-America honors. Russell coached two AVCA All-Americans in 2000, continuing a four-year trend with at least one All-American. The Warhawks have placed at least one student-athlete on the AVCA All-America squad in eight of the last nine years.

In addition to her coaching duties at Wisconsin-Whitewater, Russell is an instructor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Coaching.  Her volleyball camps and clinics provide education and skill development to approximately 700 volleyball enthusiasts each summer on the Wisconsin-Whitewater campus.

 Tachikara will formally present the National Coach of the Year awards on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000, in Richmond, Va., at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet.  The brunch, which will begin at 9 a.m. at the Richmond Marriott Hotel, is held in conjunction with the 2000 AVCA National Convention.

Photo: Kris Russell (right) accepts the Tachikara/AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year Award from Tachikara's Roger Revelle. Photo by: Pete Wright


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