Jan. 29, 2014
MADISON, Wis. – Kelly Sheffield, the head volleyball coach at the University of Wisconsin, was named the National Coach of the Year by Volleyball Magazine. The award was announced in the February issue.
Sheffield led the Badgers to the NCAA championship match in his first season as head coach at Wisconsin, one of only three head coaches to lead their teams to the final match in their inaugural year with a program.
In less than a year, Sheffield brought the Badger program back into the national spotlight. UW started the season receiving votes in the national polls and began moving up as it went 12-8 in the Big Ten, tying for fourth place, a five-place improvement from 2012. The Badgers ended the regular season ranked 13th in the national coaches’ poll.
UW saved its best for last, qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007. Wisconsin won four straight matches to qualify for just its second NCAA national semifinal in program history. The Badgers shocked No. 1 Texas, upsetting the defending NCAA champions in the semifinals, before falling to second-seeded Penn State in the all-Big Ten final.
UW finished 28-10 in Sheffield’s first season, an 11-win improvement from 2012, ranking second in the end-of-season national polls.
Individual awards also came to Sheffield’s athletes in his first season. Freshman Lauren Carlini earned second-team All-America honors while junior Ellen Chapman earned honorable mention recognition. Carlini was also named first-team All-Big Ten and was selected the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She was joined on the Big Ten All-Freshman team by Haleigh Nelson.
Carlini and junior Deme Morales were named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team while Carlini, Chapman, Morales and Dominique Thompson earned all-tournament honors at the NCAA Regional.