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Lewis Athletics | May 7, 2015

Lewis' Friend named AVCA Coach of the Year

  Friend, left, led the Flyers to a 26-3 record and the national championship's overall No. 1 seed.
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced on Thursday that Lewis men's volleyball coach Dan Friend has been named the 2015 AVCA Division I-II Men's National Coach of the Year, while Flyers assistant coach Matt McCarthy was selected as the AVCA Division I-II National Assistant Coach of the Year.

Friend, the 2015 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Coach of the Year, has mentored the Flyers to a mark of 26-3 and the overall No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA National Men's Volleyball Championship. Lewis has not fallen below No. 5 in the AVCA Coaches Poll all season, including two weeks at No. 1, and owns a national-best five All-Americans. This is the third time in four years that Lewis has advanced to the national championship.

"It's a honor and privilege to be recognized by your peers," Friend said. "There are a lot of great coaches in our sport and I feel blessed.

"I would like to thank my staff, wife, family, Lewis University and our alumni for their continued support," Friend continued. "Most importantly, I want to thank our team, because they are a fantastic group of young men who have worked extremely hard.

"This would not be possible without them."

McCarthy, now in his sixth season as a Flyers assistant, is a two-time AVCA Thirty Under 30 Award recipient (2013, '15). That award honors up-and-coming talent at all levels of the sport.

McCarthy is responsible for recruiting, training middles, budget, working practice and several other daily activities. He is primarily in charge of the Flyer block defense that currently is ranked No. 1 in the country with 3.39 blocks-per-set.

"I'm really proud and excited for Matt," Friend said. "This program would not be where it is today without him.

"I can't thank him enough for his dedication, effort and support."