YUMA, Ariz. – Student-athletes aren’t the only ones working to improve while in college. Arizona Western College volleyball coach Lorayne Chandler also is continually striving to improve as a coach, and her efforts have already yielded rewards. This week, she was named one of the top young coaches in America in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Awards.
“I am honored to receive this award,” said Chandler. “The journey does not end here though. I am looking forward to growing and learning throughout my coaching career. Thank you to the AVCA, Arizona Western Athletic Staff, and my mentors for their continued support of coaches' education.”
In only her second season as the head coach at Arizona Western College, Chandler guided the team back to the NJCAA National Tournament. She was named the District B Coach of the Year as well as the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year.
Her team finished 26-4 overall and 14-2 in the ACCAC while earning a share of the conference title and winning the Region I/District B Championship. She coached NJCAA First Team All-American/ACCAC Player of the Year Mafe Sandoval.
The AVCA award recipients span all levels of volleyball from NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III coaches to NAIA, NCCAA and USCAA Coaches as well as two-year colleges. See the full list here. According to the AVCA release, almost 200 coaches were nominated.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.