Dec. 10, 1997
1997 Tachikara/AVCA Division I District Coaches of the Year
Stanford's Don Shaw Selected
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 Spokane, Wash., on Thursday, Dec. 18, at the AVCA National Convention.
District 1 Coach of the Year
Debbie Brown, Notre Dame
Brown led the Irish (25-8) to their third consecutive Big East title, and have not lost a conference match in seven seasons. Big victories this season include Arkansas, Villanova, Georgia, Houston, Oral Roberts and Illinois State. Notre Dame is making its fourth appearance in the NCAA regional semifinals in the last five seasons. All eight of the teams the Irish lost to were ranked in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll.
District 2 Coach of the Year
John Cook, University of Wisconsin
Cook guided the Badgers (29-2) to their first Big Ten Conference title since winning the crown in 1990. The Badgers have victories over Penn State, Texas, Ohio State and Michigan State. Wisconsin enters the NCAA regional semifinals as the fourth seed, the first time in school history the team has earned a top four seed.
District 3 Coach of the Year
Janice Kruger, University of Maryland
Maryland (27-2) finished the regular season with a perfect 25-0 record after finishing the Atlantic Coast Conference with a flawless 16-0 record for the second consecutive season. On the year the Terrapins defeated Ohio State, Kansas State, South Carolina and Clemson. Maryland's NCAA tournament berth was their third in a row.
District 4 Coach of the Year
Chris Poole, University of Arkansas
Poole led the Razorbacks (30-6) to the best record in the program's four-year history along with claiming its first-ever SEC Tournament title after upsetting Florida in the championship match. Arkansas has victories over Colorado State, Washington and South Carolina. The NCAA tournament berth was the Razorbacks' second consecutive.
District 5 Coach of the Year
Pi'i Aiu, University of Colorado
Aiu led the Buffaloes (22-8) to second place in the Big 12 Conference after sweeping conference power Nebraska for the first time in school history. Other major victories include Texas, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The NCAA tournament appearance marks the seventh in a row for the Buffaloes. The Buffaloes' spot in the regional semifinals is their first since consecutive appearances in 1993 and 1994.
District 6 Coach of the Year
Perri Hankins, University of South Florida
The Bulls (26-9) posted the best record in regular season Conference USA play and earned their third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Hankins has led USF to 20-win seasons in each of the last five years. On the season, the Bulls defeated NCAA tournament participants Michigan State, Houston and Central Florida.
District 7 Region Coach of the Year
Brian Gimmillaro, Long Beach State
The 49ers (31-1) won their first-ever Big West Conference Tournament title and have held down the top spot in the USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll for the last six weeks of the poll. Wins over UC Santa Barbara, BYU, Florida and Pacific highlight the year. Long Beach is looking for its first NCAA semifinal appearance since 1993, when the team won the national championship.
District 8 Coach of the Year
Don Shaw, Stanford University
Shaw has again led the Cardinal (29-2) into the NCAA tournament on a roll having won 26 consecutive matches. Stanford captured its fourth consecutive Pac-10 title, the most consecutive titles in conference history. The Cardinal have victories over Washington State, Washington, Arizona, USC and Hawai'i despite the sparse playing time of AVCA All-American Kerri Walsh and Lisa Sharpley.