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AND THE WINNERS ARE: BADGER REGION / AVCA COACH AND CLUB DIRECTORS OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

Award season is here, and Badger Region coaches and club directors are again earning top honors.

Beginning with the 2018-19 season, the Badger Region has partnered with the American Volleyball Coaches Association to honor leaders the sport of volleyball in the state of Wisconsin.

This year, the Region is honoring coaches and club directors in eight categories:

Nominations were taken throughout the month of April and were voted upon by a handful of board members on the Badger Region Board of Directors.

This year, the winners of the Badger Region / AVCA awards are as follows:

Girls 12U Coach of the Year

Anne Frei (414 Milwaukee Elite)

Anne Frei is the coach of the 414 12-Blue team and has been coaching for 17 years. According to her nomination “Throughout the 2024 season, her unwavering dedication and boundless enthusiasm have been instrumental in fostering a cohesive and motivated team environment .”

Girls 14U Coach of the Year

Sheila Green (JustAGame VBC)

Sheila Green is the coach for JustAGame 14-Red National and also a clinician in the club’s training program and VolleyTots program. According to the nomination, “Coach Green has tremendous respect from not only her players, but the parents and fellow coaches in our club”

Girls 16U Coach of the Year

Dan Dresen (Wisconsin Juniors)

Dan Dresen is the coach of the Wisconsin Juniors 16-1 team and is a lead trainer and director for the organization.  According to his nomination, “He has a high standard for this team and is consistent in what he expects; most importantly he is a great motivator as he pushes teams to succeed.”

Girls 18U Coach of the Year

Amy Wagner (MKE Sting)

Amy Wagner is the head coach of the MKE Sting 17-Gold team, a squad that has amassed a 43-10 record to date and has qualified for the Girls Junior National Championships this summer in Las Vegas. According to her nomination, “Amy Wagner is fueled by a deep passion for the sport and her team, evident in her unwavering enthusiasm and dedication to coaching and mentoring all players.”

Boys Coach of the Year

Mary Blandino (MKE Sting)

Mary Blandino is the coach for MKE Sting 12-1 boys team and has been a part of the Wisconsin volleyball community for 50 years, the last 25 of which has been working with young boys to develop skills at the start of their careers. According to her nomination, “She helps players to learn how to handle adversity and also how to be humble when the team wins.”

Club Director of the Year and Networks Award

Alexis Middleton (Madison Starlings)

Alexis Middleton is the club director at Madison Starlings, an organization with 17 teams – both boys and girls. She is also a full-time professor at Madison College, an advisor to the Badger Region board of directors and head coach of the 14-Blue team at the club. According to her nomination, “Alexis deserved to be awarded this award because of her outstanding commitment to not only Starling’s, but to Wisconsin Volleyball community and her selfless service to equity, diversity and accessibility to volleyball.”

Club Director Innovation Award

Mike Stevens (Southport Volleyball Club)

Mike Stevens is co-club director at Southport Volleyball Club while also being a coach on the roster of the Southport 18-Blue team, the Carthage College men’s volleyball team and the Badger Region U17 HP All-Star team. He is also an advisor to the Badger Region board of directors. According to his nomination, “As a person, Mike is soft spoken, but he is a problem solver. His ability to juggle a lot of tasks and responsibilities is unlike any other.”