Men's Volleyball Coach Christopher Wright Collects Honors
April 14, 2010
The record-breaking 2010 season of Emmanuel's men's volleyball team can only be matched by the impressive list of accomplishments achieved by head coach, Christopher Wright. Wright was selected as the 2010 Men's Volleyball Coach of the Year for both the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA), and received NECVA's 2010 David Hildebrandt Rising Star Award.
"We are so proud of Coach Wright and the Saints men's volleyball team. Their record-setting year is a tribute to Chris' leadership and the dedication and effort of every member of his squad on a daily basis," said Emmanuel Director of Athletics & Recreation Pam Roecker. "The multitude of individual honors that Coach Wright received is well-deserved recognition of the team's performance this season, as well as the effort he has put into building the foundation for what we believe will be a successful program for years to come."
The David Hildebrandt Rising Star Award, established in 2009, is named in honor of former Newbury College head coach David Hildebrandt, the 2008 NECVA New England Division Coach of the Year, who passed away on August 3rd, 2008. The award is presented to a head or assistant coach who best exemplifies the attributes for which Coach Hildebrandt was known. The deserving award winner has elevated a program during their tenure at their institution or has shown marked improvement; has shown an ability to recruit and build a program with a loyal player base; has demonstrated knowledge of the sport; has displayed an excellent working relationship with players, administrators and NECVA officials; is respected by fellow coaches; has worked to promote and better the sport at the Division III level while helping to generate new programs; may have only coached for 10 or fewer seasons in men's collegiate volleyball.
Coach Wright easily embodies all of the above-mentioned characteristics. In his fifth season, at the helm of the Emmanuel program, Wright bettered his team's record in each of his season's coached at Emmanuel. He led the Saints to a program-record for wins in 2009 with 19 victories. Wright's 2010 squad exceeded that mark, winning 27 matches and defeating a myriad of top 15 programs during the season. His squad advanced to the finals of the GNAC Tournament and made the program's third NECVA Tournament appearance in four years.
The Saints were ranked 13th nationally in the April 6th American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III poll. Emmanuel held its national ranking throughout much of the 2010 season, and the Saints were ranked in the top 10 in the country for three-straight weeks. Wright's achievements this season are made even more remarkable based on the fact that he is the only part-time coach amongst full-time counterparts at all other nationally-ranked programs.
A strong advocate for his student-athletes, Wright's team players also collected numerous individual honors throughout the season. Five Emmanuel players received GNAC All-Conference recognition and several Saints were ranked nationally in various statistical categories. Wright's players were also stellar in the classroom, as six were named to the NECVA All-Academic Team. Emmanuel was also awarded the NECVA Team Academic Award, as the Saints combined for a cumulative 3.13 grade point average this year.
The 2011 season promises to be an exciting one for Emmanuel despite losing two four-year starters and Emmanuel record holders, Michael Townsend '10 and Taylor Lowe '10, to graduation this May. Wright has pounded the recruiting trail over the past several years and will return a solid core of 15 veterans for the 2011 campaign.