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.
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.
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.