AVCA Diversity Awards

The AVCA Diversity Development Team, under the leadership of Coach Nickie Sanlin, continues to champion the Association’s diversity and coach development initiatives. 2022 will mark the seventh year for the AVCA Diversity Awards program (eighth year with the AVCA Minority Coaches Awards in 2015). The American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Team are intentional in fostering an inclusive community, adding value, engaging aspiring coaches at all levels as leaders in the sport of volleyball, and assisting them with advancing their careers.

The program through an online application process looks to identify volleyball coach recipients who will be awarded a complimentary pre-convention and full convention registration package and a cash award to supplement travel and lodging expenses to attend the AVCA Convention.* 

Female and male, Black, or ethnic minority Club, High School, and Collegiate (indoor and beach) volleyball coaches are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to first-time AVCA Convention attendees. At the conclusion of the application process the AVCA Diversity Development Team will oversee the review of the submissions and the selection of the award recipients.  The recipients will have an agenda of coaching education programming and mentoring functions specifically targeted to them during their time at the convention.  Programming sessions will be facilitated by veteran volleyball coaches and industry leaders.  The objective of these sessions being to provide relevant and timely information and best practices to empower and assist in the recipients’ development as on-court tacticians and off-the-court managers and mentors; “CEO Training”.  Recipients will also be integrated into the AVCA Diversity Award winner alumni program that consists of continuing education, relationship building, and mentoring upon completion of the initial programming.

In May of 2016, the AVCA Board of Directors affirmed the Association’s commitment to diversity development.  This affirmation was in response to the suspension of prior grant funding and support from the NCAA.  It was decided that proceeds from the annual AVCA Silent Auction and individual donations would fund the AVCA Diversity Awards.

Two overarching objectives of this program are to integrate each of these selected recipients and residually impact this same target audience with sustained engagement in the larger volleyball community that includes demonstrated involvement with their national coaches’ association, the AVCA, and ultimately impact the sport by being teachers and champions of the game. Secondly, it is important that as a result of this program the sport see tangible and quantitative evidence of increased opportunities for ethnic minorities at all levels of the sport (notably “A5” and NCAA D-I women’s volleyball programs) to enjoy successful and enjoyable coaching careers.

Click here to access the 2022 AVCA Diversity Awards Online Application Form

Applications are due to AVCA Headquarters by Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at 5.00PM Eastern Time. The AVCA will contact all applicants and nominees by October 28th regarding the selection process for 2022. Selected recipients will receive instructions and orientation regarding their participation in the AVCA Diversity Awards program.

The AVCA Diversity Awards Program is generously supported with proceeds from the AVCA Convention Silent Auction, quarterly online auctions, and private donations.

#BeAMovement #WeAreAVCA

In 2022-23, the AVCA Diversity Development Team will be dedicated to and honor the life and legacy of AVCA Diversity Award winner, Coach Christian Staple who passed away unexpectedly on July 7, 2022.  Christian embodied the spirit of family that has been fostered around the Diversity Award Program and while we are saddened by this loss, we celebrate this excellent leader, championship winning coach, and superstar human who will be forever missed.  Effective July 28, 2022, the AVCA Diversity Award Class of 2017 will be known as the COACH CHRISTIAN STAPLE MEMORIAL CLASS OF ’17 AVCA DIVERSITY AWARD RECIPIENTS.

The Diversity Development Team would like to thank the AVCA community for tangible and meaningful support of our coach development and diversity initiatives. Your generosity has turned a “moment into a movement”!

To learn more about the AVCA Diversity Development Team or to donate, click here.

If you have any questions about donations, the AVCA Diversity Awards program, the AVCA Diversity Development Team and its diversity initiatives, please contact AVCA Staff Liaison Kennedy Wells, by e-mail, kennedy.wells@avca.org or by phone, 866-544-2822.

*Payout of the program cash award is contingent on Convention attendance.  Onsite participation is subject to change or modifications for health and safety due to the federal, state, and local regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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