2003 Tachikara/AVCA Division II Region Coaches of the Year
2003 AVCA/Tachikara Division II Region
Coaches of the Year for Women's Volleyball Announced
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO - The following coaches have been selected by their region as Tachikara/AVCA 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 banquet in Dallas on Thursday, Dec. 18, at the 2003 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention. Six of the eight selections have advanced their teams to the NCAA Division II Championship quarterfinal round to be played on Nov. 22.
Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Carmine Cortazzo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
2003 Record: 24-12, 6-4 PSAC
Carmine Cortazzo has been named the Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year for the third straight year as Indiana University of Pennsylvania completed its fifth consecutive winning. Cortazzo led his team to the PSAC playoffs and a fourth straight trip to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region playoffs in which the Indians were seeded third. IUP advanced to the second round of the Atlantic Region tournament. After losing six lettermen, five seniors and one freshman who transferred to a Division I school, 2003 was to be a rebuilding year. IUP ended the year with a 24-12 record overall. IUP earned the 2002-2003 AVCA Team Academic Award, an honor Cortazzo and his team strives for each year. IUP advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship with three AVCA All-Atlantic Region players.
Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Jim Moore, Northern Michigan University
2003 Record: 26-1, 18-0 GLIAC
Jim Moore led the Northern Michigan University Wildcats to a 26-1 record for the 2003 season, improving the team by 11 wins from 2002 under a different head coach. The 2003 Wildcats went through the regular season undefeated (23-0) for the first time in school history, capturing the GLIAC Volleyball Tournament after an 18-0 conference season. Moore, in his first year of his second stint at NMU, was awarded with the 2003 GLIAC Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career. NMU was ranked as high as 11th in AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll for the 2003 season as the team started the season unranked. The 'Cats, with two AVCA All-Great Lakes Region players, entered the NCAA Division Great Lakes Region Tournament as the top seed and hosted the event. He was named the 1993 Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year and has four region coach of the year honors.
North Central Region Coach of the Year
Brady Starkey, Concordia University, St. Paul
2003 Record: 30-3, 15-1 NSIC
Brady Starkey led Concordia to the 2003 Elite Eight and its best record in school history in his first season as a college head coach. The Bears, with just two seniors, won their first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) title and earned the school's first number-one North Central Region ranking. He was named the NSIC Coach of the Year as he guided the team to the school's first appearance in the NCAA tournament since moving to Division II in 1999. The Bears earned their highest national ranking of seven heading into the Elite Eight Tournament and had the longest winning streak at 21 matches in Division II this season. The Bears landed five players on the first-team all-NSIC team and three players on the AVCA All-North Central Region Team. Concordia is ranked in the top 30 in six NCAA categories and has two players ranked in NCAA categories.
Northeast Region Coach of the Year
Pascale Lubin, Queens College (N.Y.)
2003 Record: 28-4, 9-2 NYCAC
Pascale Lubin has guided the 28-4 Lady Knights to their most successful season in school history. She has led Queens (N.Y.) to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight Tournament for the first time after winning the Northeast Region championship as the host. QC reached the NCAA Northeast Regional Tournament for the third time in school history. The Lady Knights have won their last seven matches and 17 of their last 18 contests. Lubin was recognized as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after improving the Lady Knights' league standing from third in 2002 to second in 2003. QC, which won the NYCAC Tournament, has improved its overall record from last year by 10 victories (18-9 in 2002). Although the Lady Knights have suffered four losses on the season, three have come in five games. QC landed three players on the AVCA All-Northeast Region Team.
Pacific Region Coach of the Year
Kim Cherniss, Cal State San Bernardino
2003 Record: 28-4, 20-2 CCAA
Kim Cherniss has guided her team to the 2003 NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history after losing in the Pacific Region finals three straight years. The Coyotes, who host the 2003 Elite Eight Tournament, claimed their third straight conference crown with a 20-2 record. CSUSB is currently ranked first in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll and has been ranked atop the poll on four occasions and never lower than sixth. The Coyotes went 7-3 versus nationally ranked opponents, 12-4 against regionally ranked foes and an undefeated 16-0 against unranked teams. CSUSB produced two players on the AVCA All-Pacific Region Team, along with an honorable mention choice. Cherniss earned the Tachikara/AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the Year in 2001.
South Region Coach of the Year
Chris Catanach, University of Tampa
Overall Record: 31-3, 13-1 SSC
Chris Catanach earned his second consecutive and seventh overall Tachikara/AVCA South Region Coach of the Year award, including being named Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1991. He led the Spartans to the their eighth consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and second straight NCAA Elite Eight berth after winning the South Region championship. Tampa shared the Sunshine State Conference title this season, winning 13 of 14 league matches. The Spartans were ranked as high as first nationally this season and currently ranked second in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll. Tampa is riding a 14-match win streak into this year's Elite Eight Tournament. The Spartans placed four players on the AVCA All-South Region Team, in addition to an honorable mention pick.
South Central Region Coach of the Year
Matt Peck, University of North Alabama
2003 Record: 30-7, 13-1 GSC
Matt Peck led North Alabama to its eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament with a 30-7 overall record. UNA advanced to the 2003 Elite Eight as the South Central Region champions, the Lions' fourth region title. The Lions defeated Harding, avenging a conference tournament final-match loss, then went on to upset top-seed Truman in the region semifinals before taking a five-game win from Central Missouri State in the championship. Peck's squad bounced back from a four-week hiatus from the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll and has climbed to 11th in the current release. The Lions, with three AVCA All-South Central Region players and an honorable mention pick, have won 18 of their last 19 matches with the only blemish coming in the Gulf South Conference championship. Peck also earned the Tachikara/AVCA South Central Region Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2000.
Southwest Region Coach of the Year
Rick Squiers, University of Nebraska-Kearney
2003 Record: 31-6, 17-2 RMAC
Rick Squiers has led Nebraska-Kearney to its fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth in 2003 and a third trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The Lopers went 17-2 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and placed second in the league tournament. Squiers has managed success in 2003 despite losing six seniors and two other key performers off last year's 30-5 team. UNK may be the youngest team in Division II as no seniors occupy spots on the roster with four underclassmen starting on a regular basis. The Lopers went 17-0 at home, including wins over nationally ranked Metro State, Rockhurst, St. Edward's and Fort Hays State. UNK also had a 15-match win streak during the season, the second longest streak in Squiers' five-year tenure as Lopers coach. The Lopers, ranked fourth in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, have three players on the AVCA All-Southwest Region Team.