1998 Tachikara/AVCA District Coaches of the Year

12/9/1998

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1998 Tachikara/AVCA Division I District Coaches of the Year

    The following coaches have been voted by their district as Tachikara/AVCA Division I District Coach of the Year.  Each of the honorees will represent their district on the national coach of the year ballot.  The award will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Madison, Wis., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 1998, at the AVCA National Convention.

    District 1 Coach of the Year
    Jolene Nagel, Georgetown University
    Nagel led the Hoyas to their first-ever Big East Conference regular-season title and the best overall record in the school's 25-year history.  Georgetown defeated Connecticut and Temple this season and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time.  The Hoyas were the top-ranked team in the district all season, the first time in the program's history they have held down the top spot.

    District 2 Coach of the Year
    Todd Kress, Fairfield University
    Kress guided the Stags to their best record in school history (35-2) and their highest-ever ranking in the district at No. 4.  Fairfield dominated the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a flawless 9-0 mark and their second consecutive conference tournament crown.  They defeated NCAA tournament teams Notre Dame and Miami, Ohio on the season.

    District 3 Coach of the Year
    Joe Sagula, University of North Carolina
    Sagula led the Tar Heels to the No. 1 ranking in the district for the majority of the season.  UNC won the regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference crown for the first time since 1989.  The Tar Heels made their first NCAA appearance since 1989, winning their first-ever tournament match.  UNC was ranked in USA TODAY/AVCA Top 25 for first time in school history, Oct. 13.

    District 4 Coach of the Year
    Mary Wise, University of Florida
    Florida claimed its sixth SEC tournament title in the last seven years and spent the entire season ranked in the top 10 of the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll.  The Gators claimed victories over Hawaii, Arkansas, Texas, UCLA and Kansas State.  UF was the top team in the district all season.  Wise has led the Gators to the round of 16 in seven consecutive NCAA tournaments.

    District 5 Coach of the Year
    Terry Pettit, University of Nebraska
    Pettit led the Cornhuskers to a conference crown for the 20th time in his 22 seasons at the helm.  Nebraska is making its 17th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, hosting the NCAA Pacific regional this weekend.  They finished the regular season with a 14-1 record against top 25 teams, including victories over Texas A&M, Colorado, Florida, Kansas State, Stanford and Texas.  Nebraska was the top-ranked team in the district all year and was ranked in the top five of the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll all season.

    District 6 Coach of the Year
    Betty Ralston, Eastern Illinois University
    Ralston led the Panthers to their first-ever Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title with a 17-1 mark.  EIU posted a school-best 24-7 record this season, including a pair of wins over NCAA tournament participant Southeast Missouri State.  The Panthers were ranked in the district poll for the entire season, peaking at a program-best No. 6.

    District 7 Coach of the Year
    Dave Shoji, University of Hawai'i
    The Rainbow Wahine have returned to the national picture with a 7-2 record against nationally-ranked teams, including victories over UCLA, Ohio State, BYU, Pacific and San Diego.  Hawaii was ranked in the top four in the district and top 15 in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll all season.  The Wahine advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament for the 15th time.

    District 8 Coach of the Year
    Andy Banachowski, UCLA
    The 1998 Pac-10 Coach the Year, Banachowski guided the Bruins to a huge turnaround after starting the season 3-9.  UCLA rattled off 13 of its next 16 matches and took third in the Pac-10 with a 13-5 record.  The Bruins started three freshmen, two sophomores and one senior this season and earned victories over UC Santa Barbara, Arizona and Pepperdine.  Banachowski, the all-time winningest Division I women's volleyball coach,  helped the Bruins reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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