Jan. 12, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The honors just keep rolling in for the Santa Clara women's volleyball team and the latest one is being bestowed upon head coach Jon Wallace. Under the direction of Wallace, the No. 4 Broncos completed the most successful season in school history, with a berth into the national championship semi-finals and a program-best overall record of 27-5 in 2005. As the only unseeded squad to ever qualify for the national semi-finals in NCAA history, the 2005 West Coast Conference champions defeated three ranked teams throughout the three-week tournament on its way to San Antonio, Texas, triumphing over then-No. 19 Pepperdine, then-No. 5 Stanford, and then-No. 4 Arizona. The win over the Cardinal in the second round was the Broncos' first over their South Bay rival in 20 tries, marking yet another historical milestone in what has turned out to be such a magical year.
For his efforts, Wallace received a bevy of awards, including the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, the AVCA Pacific Region Coach of the Year, and Collegiate Volleyball Update's Coach of the Year. And now, Volleyball Magazine has presented him with their highest honor in his profession, naming him its 2005 National Coach of the Year.
"I'm really happy to be named Volleyball Magazine's Coach of the Year. It was really the one periodical that covers volleyball and has done so for many years," states Wallace. "It was the first volleyball magazine I ever bought and to be named their coach of the year is a great honor. I couldn't be happier.
In his seven years on the Mission Campus, Wallace has accumulated a staggering overall record of 156-58 and a league mark of 78-20. His teams have qualified for seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances and this year's trip to the national semi-finals is the farthest a SCU squad has gone in program history. In addition, he has guided the Broncos to two West Coast Conference championships (2000 and 2005) and his teams have never finished lower than third in league play. Wallace has also coached all four of Santa Clara's All-American recipients, with middle blocker Becky Potter earning honors in 2002 and 2003 and opposite Cassie Perret, middle blocker Anna Cmaylo and setter Crystal Matich gaining national recognition in 2005.
"One of the main reasons why I decided to come to Santa Clara was because of Jon Wallace," said Matich, who along with earning All-American honors this season was also touted as one of the Top 5 setters according to Collegiate Volleyball Update. "He's always been there for the team and has never thought of himself. He deserves this award more than anyone I know. He had to work so hard and has always given it his all."
Added Cmaylo: "Jon isn't just a coach where it's nine to five and he's out. He never clocks out. This is his thing. He cares about his players and is an awesome person. He works so hard and definitely deserves this award. I'm really happy for him."