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Zach Diriam | Florida Athletics | December 14, 2017

Florida's Mary Wise earns AVCA National Coach of the Year honors

  Mary Wise earned her third Coach of the Year honors for the 29-1 Gators.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  For the third time in her 31-year career as a head coach, Mary Wise has been named the USMC/American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I National Coach of the Year, the AVCA announced at their annual awards banquet Thursday afternoon.

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Wise, who also won the award in 1992 and 1996, is the second three-time winner in history, joining longtime Penn State head coach Russ Rose (five times) as the only other person to accomplish the feat.

Wise and the Gators (29-1) are making their eighth all-time NCAA semifinals appearance. It is the program's first since 2003, when the Gators reached the NCAA championship, making Wise the first female head coach in Division I history to coach the national title match. Wise remains the only woman to do so, and she is the only female head coach to reach multiple Division I national semifinals.

Florida's 29 victories this season mark its highest win total since 2007, when it went 29-3 and reached the NCAA regional semifinals.

MORE: Live updates and scores from the national semifinals

Earlier this season, Wise collected her 800th win as the Gators' head coach, a position she has held for 27 seasons. Wise also picked up her 900th career victory and became the third female head coach in NCAA history to reach the 900-win plateau when Florida won its 23rd Southeastern Conference title at Missouri  on Nov. 25.

The Gators set a school record with four individuals named first, second, or third-team AVCA All-Americans.

Florida faces Stanford Thursday night in the NCAA semifinals at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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