BLUEGRASS COLLEGE CAMP
Friday, March 6th, 2020
Camp open to all 14u-18u athletes.
Before arriving at Michigan State, Cathy George had already established herself as one of the more well-respected coaches in the sport. Her 13 years on the MSU sideline has seen the Spartans ascend to one of the elite programs in the country. With seven consecutive NCAA appearances under her belt (including three trips to the Sweet 16 and an NCAA Regional Final appearance in 2017), she has guided the Spartans to the most wins of any Michigan State head coach in program history.
More than just wins and losses, George has insisted on a level of accomplishments not only on the court, but in the classroom and community. George, her staff, and her players are mainstays in community outreach events, and can boast some of the most impressive academic accomplishments of any team at Michigan State. George’s players include 72 Academic All-Big Ten selections, three Academic All-Americans, and 20 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars over 13 seasons.
Every season, George’s teams have attracted rapidly growing crowds to Jenison Field House, ranking in the top-25 in Division I attendance in each of the last 20 years. The Spartans ranked eighth nationally in average attendance, (2,872), as 37,333 fans took in a volleyball match at Jenison Field House in 2015, the 11th highest total among Division I programs. The Spartans have set new attendance records in each of the last four seasons, with MSU setting a new single-game attendance mark at Jenison Field House in 2014, drawing 6,218 fans for an Oct. 3 match vs. archrival Michigan.
George currently boasts a career record of 621-398, and is 256-172 while at MSU. She ranks 19th among active coaches for total wins in NCAA Division I volleyball, and ranks among the top 80 coaches all-time with a career .609 winning percentage. On November 11, 2017, she became the winningest head coach in MSU history with her 251st victory as the head coach of the Spartans – surpassing Annelies Knoppers (250-197-18, 1974-84).
Tom Mendoza has wrapped his second season as the head coach for the South Carolina volleyball program and already has made history as the first Gamecock coach to lead the team to back-to-back NCAA tournament trips in their first two seasons at the helm. He has totaled 40 wins in his first two seasons, the highest two-year win total by a new Gamecock head coach since 1976-77. The team’s 20 wins in 2019 were tied with Mendoza’s 20-win team in 2018 for the most in a single season over the program’s last decade of action, and it is the team’s first time with back-to-back 20-win seasons since 2001-02. Carolina’s 11 wins in SEC play in 2019 were also the most since 2008. South Carolina advanced to the second round of the tournament and earned win No. 20 after upsetting Colorado State – then ranked tenth in the country – in the opening round of action. It was the program’s first win over a team ranked in the top-10 nationally since 2006. Individually, Mikayla Shields and Mikayla Robinson both earned All-SEC and All-Region honors for the second year in a row; the Gamecocks had not put multiple student-athletes on the all-conference list in back-to-back seasons since 2002. Shields also earned the program’s first All-America certificate, making the AVCA’s Third Team. Mendoza became the 13th head coach in Gamecock volleyball history on Jan. 3, 2018, coming to Columbia after two seasons as head coach at High Point University, where he led the Panthers to 47 wins and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.
In his four seasons in charge of Central Michigan volleyball, coach Mike Gawlik has put the program on a firm foundation, culminating in 2019 with a Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Award.
That well-deserved honor followed a magnificent season that saw the Chippewas finish 21-9, earn a share of the MAC West title, and advance to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. The division crown was CMU’s first since 2003.
The NIVC berth marked CMU’s first postseason appearance since 2011 and the 21 victories were the most for the program since 2007.
Gawlik became the second CMU volleyball coach, and the first in 11 years, to claim the league coach of the year honor. He took the Chippewas to the MAC Tournament for the second time in three years.
In 2020, Gawlik’s Chippewas will return almost every starter and key backup that formed the core during the remarkable 2019 season. Among them are First Team All-MAC selections Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez and Kalina Smith and the sensational setting duo of Kendall Braate and Grace Butler.
Six Chippewas earned a combined 10 individual weekly MAC awards in 2019 and CMU put together win streaks of six and 12 matches.
The Gawlik-led program not only excelled on the court, but continued to impress in the classroom as five Chippewas earned Academic All-MAC honors. CMU volleyball has had at least five student-athletes earn such honors in each of Gawlik’s four seasons at the helm.
Senior libero Meg Kern was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team for the second time in her career, becoming the first Chippewa to accomplish that feat.
Gawlik charted a course for success immediately upon being named to head the program in January, 2016.
He led the Chippewas to an 11-17 finish in his rookie season after which his 2017 recruiting class received an honorable mention from one the game’s authoritative websites, prepvolleyball.com. CMU was one of 72 programs to receive honorable mention after a ranking of the top 30. NCAA Division I volleyball comprises 334 programs.
Gawlik’s 2017 squad finished 15-14, 7-9 in the MAC, and earned a berth in the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2012. It also marked the first time CMU has finished over .500 since 2012, and its third-place finish in the MAC West was its best since 2009.
The Chippewas won five of their final seven regular-season matches. That five-match win streak tied for the program’s longest since 2012.
Gawlik guided a team led by senior Jordan Bueter, one of the top players in program history. The two-time All-MAC First Team selection finished as CMU’s career leader in aces (160) and with 1,469 kills, good for third best in program history.
Gawlik came to CMU after serving for 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State, helping lead the Spartans to nine NCAA Tournament appearances including three trips to the Sweet 16.
Gawlik’s primary responsibility at MSU was coaching the defensive specialists, serving as the defensive coordinator, and working with the blockers. He also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, prepared scouting reports as well as comprehensive analysis of MSU players.
In 2010, Gawlik was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) “Thirty Under 30” list, which annually honors up-and-coming coaches who are under age 30. He was part of an MSU staff that landed top-10 recruiting classes in 2008, 2013 and 2014, and he served as the liaison between the AVCA and the assistant coaches throughout the Big Ten Conference.
Under Gawlik’s tutelage, libero Kori Moster developed into one of the top players in MSU history, twice earning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award and three times earning All-America honors.
In 2013, Gawlik coached with the USA Senior Women’s A2 program in Dallas, which provided him an opportunity to work with some of the top talent in the United States.
Gawlik was a four-year starter at setter and libero at Pacific, graduating in 2005 as the program’s record holder in games played (382) and digs (849). He was a two-year captain, an All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection, was named a Strength and Conditioning All-American in 2005, and earned the Student of the Year Award in 2005 for sports science majors.
Gawlik earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from MSU in 2011. He and his wife Katie have a 2-year-old daughter, Wynn.
Colleen Munson enters her 14th season at the helm of the Western Michigan volleyball program in 2018. Her tenure at WMU has included a program record eight consecutive 20-win seasons from 2005-12 and nine overall trips to the Big Dance in 2008, 2011, and 2014, including a berth in the Sweet 16 in 2008. Furthermore, there is every reason to believe that Munson has constructed a team that will challenge at the top of the Mid-American Conference for years to come.
Taking over a program in 2005 that finished better than third in the MAC West just three times since 1990, Munson has led the Broncos to four MAC West championships, including an outright MAC title in 2008, a MAC Tournament title and trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2014, and NCAA Tournament at-large bids in 2008 and 2011. The Broncos have turned University Arena into one of the best home court advantages in the MAC under Munson, boasting a 115-36 record at home and a 137-71 mark against their conference foes.
Over the years, Munson has had the opportunity to coach players that have earned accolades on the conference and national levels. Under Munson’s tutelage, the Broncos have had 31 players earn All-MAC status; four players have won MAC Freshman of the Year, including Sydney LeMay in 2014; three players have earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year, including Lena Oliver in 2012; and the Broncos have dominated the MAC Setter of the Year awards, winning the honor in four of the last seven seasons. On the national level, Oliver was honored as a two-time COBRA Magazine National Defensive Player of the Year, and Ali Gossen and Kaycee Acree were both named to the 2012 USA National A2 Volleyball team.
For more information contact Anne Kordes at email@example.com