AVCA Diversity Awards

2020 will mark the fifth year for the AVCA Diversity Awards program (sixth 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 to 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 continuing the momentum that has seen 51 Award recipients experience this excellent coach development program.


For the 2020 AVCA Diversity Award program, recipients will be selected through an online application process that looks to identify aspiring volleyball coaches who will participate in a series of educational, developmental, and relationship building experiences in conjunction with the 2020 AVCA Virtual Convention, December 16-19 (With all 2020 AVCA Diversity Award winners being invited to in-person programming at the 2021 AVCA Convention in Columbus, Ohio). 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, mentoring, and networking functions specifically targeted to them during their time at the convention.  These 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 2020 AVCA Diversity Awards has Closed

The AVCA will contact all applicants by October 30th regarding the selection process for 2020. 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.

In June of this year, Iowa State University head volleyball coach and past AVCA president, Christy Johnson-Lynch along with her head volleyball coach colleagues from the Big XII Conference decided to donate $1,000.00 to the AVCA Diversity Fund to support the program and to sponsor an award recipient for 2020.  Subsequently, the Big XII challenged other head coaches and conferences in the volleyball community to accept the challenge of supporting the AVCA Diversity Award program.  The Challenge has resonated in the AVCA community and the AVCA Diversity Development team is extremely grateful for the generosity and support.  To learn more about the Challenge, to make a donation, and to see an up-to-date Scorecard of donation, please see the ‘DIVERSITY’ tab on the AVCA website.

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.

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