OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Brigham Young University Head Women's Volleyball Coach Shawn Olmstead has been selected as the 2014 AVCA Division I Coach of the Year, while University of North Carolina Assistant Head Coach Eve Rackham has been selected as the 2014 AVCA DI Assistant Coach of the Year.
2014 saw Olmstead's squad continue their pattern of recent success, as they were able to ride momentum all the way to a berth in the NCAA semifinals. This will be the second appearance in the semifinals for BYU, which they last reached in 1993. The Cougars cruised to the West Coast Conference Championship, racking up a 16-2 record while four players received All-WCC honors. Olmstead also claimed his second WCC Coach of the Year award and was recognized as the 2014 AVCA DI Pacific South Region Coach of the Year, which he also won in 2012.
Olmstead has built BYU into one of the most consistently strong programs in the country, and they are ranked at No. 12 in the most recent AVCA Coaches Top-25 Poll. He has coached multiple AVCA All-Americans during his tenure, and under his guidance players have been recognized as the WCC Player of the Year, WCC Freshman of the Year, and WCC Defensive Player of the Year, to name a few. In 2014, outside hitter Alexa Gray and right side Jennifer Hamson were named AVCA All-Americans.
BYU has proven to be a strong defensive squad, leading the nation in blocks per set and boasting two of the leading blockers in the country in Whitney Young and Amy Boswell. The Cougars boast a record of 29-4 heading into their semifinals matchup with Texas. This is the first AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year award for Olmstead.
Olmstead is the second active West Coast Conference head coach to capture national coach of the year honors. Santa Clara's Jon Wallace was tabbed the 2005 Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year after leading his unseeded Broncos to the Final Four.
Rackham, who just completed her second year as an assistant coach (been on the coaching staff since 2009) for Joe Sagula and the Tar Heels, has helped take the program to new heights. 2014 was an historic season with North Carolina finishing at 29-3, which is the best overall record in school history. They won the ACC Championship and advanced all of the way to the Regional Final for the first time in school history. In addition to helping develop the offense, she also serves as the recruiting coordinator.
The AVCA formally presented both coaches their awards at the 2014 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma earlier today. The luncheon was held in conjunction with the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention.