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First National Recognition for Eagle Mentor

(Posted May 24, 2004)

Juniata volleyball coach Ken Shibuya instructs his players during the 2003 Molten Championship. Shibuya was chosen as the 2004 AVCA Division III Coach of the Year.

Huntingdon, Pa. - Juniata College men's volleyball coach Ken Shibuya capped a memorable season of volleyball at Juniata by being named the 2004 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the Year. This is the first year that a separate Division III Men's National Coach of the Year Honor has been awarded.

In just his second season at the helm of the Juniata program, Shibuya led the Eagles to their second straight Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division III title. The Eagles also claimed the 2004 Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship by sweeping Medaille on April 17 after a runner-up finish in the tournament last year.

Juniata completed the 2004 season with an 18-7 overall record and a 7-5 EIVA Tait record. The Eagles have compiled a 35-16 record in Shibuya's two seasons and he owns a .686 winning percentage. Shibuya mentored four 2004 AVCA Division III Men's All-Americans, including three first-team selections. Juniata's senior middle blocker Kenny Eiser was named the AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Year. The Eagles also placed three players on the EIVA All-East squad, which recognizes the top EIVA players in divisions I, II and III. Juniata also saw six players named to the EIVA Division III All-Star Team.

"This has obviously been a huge honor for me, particularly since it was selected by my peers," Shibuya stated. "Receiving a national honor like this is something I've never experienced before. It's a credit to the great players we had this season, along with my assistant coach Scott Horning who taught me a great deal throughout the season."

Shibuya spent four years at Christopher Newport with the women's volleyball team prior to arriving at Juniata. The Lady Captains finished with a 24-11 overall record in his final season at the helm. Christopher Newport was undefeated in the Dixie Conference and the squad earned its first-ever berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Shibuya was honored as the Dixie Conference Coach of the year on two occasions and notched a school-record 77 wins during his tenure.

Shibuya has worked with USA Volleyball for the past two years in the youth programs. In the summer of 2003 he coached the USA Volleyball High Performance Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the top under-16 players come to train. Shibuya helped with the USA Volleyball Youth National Team in the summer of 2002. He also holds tryouts for the USA Volleyball High Performance Camp, Youth National and Junior National teams on Juniata's campus, which is just one of four locations for these tryouts.

Shibuya is a 1993 graduate of the University of Virginia with a bachelor of arts degree in East Asian Studies. He is active in the AVCA as a voting member on the AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll.

"There were a lot of great coaches and teams out there this season, so I just feel very fortunate," Shibuya added. "More than anything else, I try and make my team's believe that anything is possibleâ�"that they shouldn't limit themselves. I think our success this season was because we believed we could be as good as anyone."

Tachikara will formally present the AVCA Division III Men's National Coach of the Year award in Long Beach, Calif., at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet. The brunch is held in conjunction with the 2004 AVCA Annual Convention.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.