1996 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Region Coaches of the Year


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1996 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Region Coaches of the Year

    The following coaches have been voted by their region as Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year.  Each of the honorees will represent their region on the national Coach of the Year ballot.  The award will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the AVCA National Convention.

Central Region Coach of the Year
Cindy Book, St. Olaf

Book has led the Oles to the NCAA quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.  St. Olaf has been ranked No. 1 in the region all year and has suffered only three losses to Top 5 teams in the country (Juniata, Washington (Mo.) and UC San Diego).  St. Olaf is only one of two Division III teams to push five-time defending national champion Washington (Mo.) to five games.  Season highlights include victories over Nebraska Wesleyan, Central, Wisconsin-River Falls, Wittenberg and Ithaca.

Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Kate Witte, Ohio Northern

After losing probably her three strongest starters, Witte has still managed to guide Ohio Northern to the regional finals for the first time since 1989 when that team advanced all the way to the national championship match.  With only one senior on the roster, ONU will be a team to reckon with in the future.

Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Peg Worthington, Gallaudet

Worthington led Gallaudet to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1985.  Gallaudet returned three starters from a year ago when the school set a school record for winning percentage.  Worthington, in her 25th year, led the team to the Capital Athletic Conference title and the University of Scranton and Messiah tournament titles.  Wins over Salisbury State, Mary Washington, Allentown and Stockton highlight the year.

Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Marty Petersen, UW-Oshkosh

Petersen has directed the team to its best overall record in school history at 39-3, in the process of advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since 1994 when the team finished as the national runner-up.  The team spent most of the season ranked No. 3 in the AVCA Coaches Top 15 poll, finishing the year at No. 7.  Oshkosh extended its home court winning streak to 34 matches this season and claimed the tournament titles at the Elmhurst Invitational, UW-Oshkosh Invitational #1 and #2 and the North Central College Invitational.

New England Region Coach of the Year
Joel Dearing, Springfield

Dearing has again led the Pride to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals after upsetting regional top-seed U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  The top eight finish is the second consecutive quarterfinals appearance in a row for Springfield.  On the season, Springfield has victories over Cortland, Thomas More, Wellesley and Eastern Connecticut.

New York Region Coach of the Year
Joan Sitterly, SUNY Cortland

Sitterly has guided Cortland back to national prominence with victories over Ithaca (three times), RIT, Gettysburg, Springfield and Rochester.  Cortland has been the top-ranked team in the region for the entire year, claiming the regional title for the first time since 1989.  Sitterly has led the team to the NCAA tournament in 11 of the last 12 years.

South Region Coach of the Year
Teri Clemens, Washington (Mo.)

Washington lost two AVCA All-Americans from last year and has still managed to be the top team in Division III all year.  Clemens has guided the Bears into position to claim an unprecedented sixth consecutive national title.  The team is undefeated in Division III this year, with victories over St. Olaf, Ohio Northern, Ithaca, Emory (twice) and Trinity.

West Region Coach of the Year
James Park, California Lutheran

Park has led Cal Lutheran to the top of the West region for the second consecutive year.  Lutheran finished the year with only one loss in Division III this year, losing to UC San Diego in the NCAA second round.  On the season, the Regals had victories over La Verne, UC San Diego and Pomona-Pitzer.  Lutheran advanced to its first-ever NCAA championship match last season, losing to Washington (Mo.) in five games.

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