AVCA Diversity Awards

2021 will mark the sixth year for the AVCA Diversity Awards program (seventh year with the AVCA Minority Coaches Awards in 2015).  The American Volleyball Coaches Association has been intentional since 2015 in fostering an inclusive community and demonstrating the value placed on assisting aspiring coaches at the collegiate, high school, and club levels advance their careers in the sport of volleyball.  The Association’s diversity initiatives and minority coach development programming continues to evolve and the AVCA Diversity Development Team is committed to engaging coaches as leaders and continuing the momentum of a program that has seen 92 Award recipients experience this excellent coach development program.


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 of volleyball.  Secondly, it is important that as a result of this program that the sport see tangible and quantitative evidence of the increase in 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.

The Application Process for the 2021 AVCA Diversity Awards Has Closed

The AVCA will contact all applicants by October 27th regarding the selection process for 2021. 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.

The Diversity Development Team would like to thank the AVCA community for tangible and meaningful support of our coach development and diversity initiatives of the AVCA through the “40 Days of Giving” campaign and other means of support.  Your generosity has turned a “moment into a movement”!

#BeAMovement #WeAreAVCA

To learn more about the AVCA Diversity Development Team or to make a donation, 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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