Russ Rose Named Coach of the Year For Fifth Time
The accolades for the women’s volleyball team keep coming. Head coach Russ Rose was named Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Senior Ariel Scott won the Senior CLASS Award.
Rose has been at the helm for the Nittany Lions for 35 years. He has received this award four other times in 1990, 1997, 2007 and 2008. The last two times he won this award, the Lions went on to win the National Championship in consecutive years, something the team hopes to do again after making it to the Final Four this season. Penn State plays Wisconsin in the championship final at 9:30 Saturday night. The match will be televised on ESPN2.
Rose has never had a season with fewer than 22 victories and is the third active coach in Division I women’s volleyball to record 1,000 career wins. He is second on the all-time list with 1,123 wins. Rose collected his 16th Big Ten Championship this season along with his 14th Big Ten Coach of the Year honor, leading his squad to a 32-2 record overall and a 19-1 conference record.
The Nittany Lions enter the Final Four as one of the hottest teams in the nation, having won 23 consecutive matches. In their 19 Big Ten victories, they only dropped 11 sets while winning 57. The team had five players named to the AVCA All-Northeast Region team: Nia Grant, Micha Hancock, Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott and Katie Slay.
Assistant Coach of the Year went to Salima Rockwell from University of Texas. Rockwell played under Rose from 1991-94. She was a three time All-American for the Nittany Lions and a captain for the U.S National Team from 1995-99. She came back and worked with Rose from 2006-09 before going to Longhorns.
This year marked Penn State’s 33rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.