2000 Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year


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University of Nebraska's John Cook Named 2000 Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year


John CookRICHMOND, Va. -- John Cook, the head women's volleyball coach at the University of Nebraska, has been selected as the 2000 Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year.

Cook has guided the Huskers to a 32-0 record and No. 1 ranking for 13 consecutive weeks in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll heading into this weekend's NCAA Volleyball Championships. His squad has the opportunity to become just the second team in Division I history to go undefeated.

"When I first started coaching, I could never have predicted I would be a volleyball coach of the year," Cook said during his acceptance speech. "I wanted to be a football coach, but the only way I could get a teaching job was to coach volleyball. That was my introduction to the sport.

"Now, I look around this room and see so many coaches who I have learned from. I hope that I can continue to be that kind of role model to the younger coaches here. I want to continue to represent the team and the university well. This really means a lot."

In his first season at the helm of the highly successful Nebraska program, Cook has not let it skip a beat. His team has swept 26 of 32 matches this season, including 17 of 20 in the Big 12 Conference. Nebraska leads the nation in blocks per game and ranks second nationally in attack percentage. Cook's 2000 Huskers have advanced to today's NCAA semifinals, despite redshirting a two-time AVCA First-Team All-American due to commitments with the U.S. National Team.

Cook's credentials leading up to his current position are highly regarded. He held a 160-73 record at the University of Wisconsin and earned the Tachikara/AVCA District Coach of the Year in 1997 before stepping down in 1999. In his seven years with Wisconsin, he was able to build the program into a top 10 team and advanced the Badgers to six straight NCAA Tournaments, including the regional finals in 1997 and 1999. Ironically, his last match as head coach with Wisconsin was an epic battle versus Nebraska, his current employer. Including his one season with Nebraska, Cook's overall record has improved to 193-73.

Nebraska athletic director Bill Byrne, who traveled to Richmond for Nebraska's semifinal match against Hawai'i today, said Cook's honor came as no surprise.

"One could hardly imagine that in his first year, John Cook would win such a prestigious award," Byrne said. "But that's just the kind of coach he is. I am thrilled for him, and I am thrilled for the team. But most of all, I am thrilled for the future, because with John Cook at the helm, Nebraska volleyball is going to remain Nebraska volleyball. And I think that's very

Cook's coaching experience also includes working as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's Olympic Team, which captured the bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games with his assistance. As the team's defensive coordinator, Cook was also in charge of scouting and supervising the team's flexibility, strength and conditioning programs.

A graduate of the University of San Diego, Cook earned his bachelor's degree in history in 1979. He completed his master's degree in teaching and coaching effectiveness from San Diego State in 1991. Cook and his wife Wendy, a former two-time All-America setter at San Diego State, are the parents of two children, Lauren and Taylor.

The 2000 Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year awards were presented Dec. 14, 2000, at the Tachikara Coach of the Year Banquet, held in Richmond, Va., in conjunction with the AVCA National Convention.

Photo: Nebraska's John Cook (left) left accepts the Tachikara/AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year Award from Tachikara's Roger Reville at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year Banquet on Dec. 14, 2000, at Richmond, Va. Photo By: Pete Wright

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