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ASU Volleyball’s JJ Van Niel Wins Pac-12 Coach of the Year

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JJ Van Niel was at USC last year as an assistant. Now he is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year after leading the Sun Devils to their best record since 1986 and first NCAA Tournament since 2015. Not only did he take over a team in shambles following a terrible 2022 season, but he did it while losing a Pwer 5 high eight players to the transfer portal.

Van Niel has done something that’s only been done four other times in school history by winning this award. He has completely turned the culture around and has already begun turning ASU into an annual Volleyball powerhouse while securing wins over two of the top 6 teams in College Volleyball (Stanford and Oregon). Van Niel has brought in transfers and used the girls that stayed to turn five of them into postseason award winners and got Marta Levinska on her first All-Pac-12 Team.

This program has gone from local players not wanting to talk to them to having tons of interest in the program they are building. How far they will go in the tournament remains a mystery, but they are there as a 5-seed one year after being in the bottom four in the Pac-12, which is incredible.

JJ Van Niel deserves the award.

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