BYU Volleyball Becomes Fourth Program to Win 1,000

BYU coach Jason Watson has helped BYU achieve a 57-13 record under his direction, following previous coaches Karen Lamb and Elaine Michaelis in totaling 1,000 wins for the storied BYU program. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

SAN -- The BYU women's volleyball team celebrated a significant milestone on Saturday as the Cougars became just the fourth program in NCAA volleyball history to record 1,000 wins. BYU's landmark 1,000th victory, which came at San Diego State Saturday night, puts the Cougars in elite company with UCLA, Nebraska and Missouri State as the only programs to reach the 1,000-win mark.

"One thousand wins is certainly a milestone that should be celebrated by everyone that has committed themselves to help BYU women's volleyball be what it is," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "Our current athletes and staff feel the tremendous responsibility to ensure that the legacy of those that have gone before us is built upon by what we do today."

In the world of collegiate volleyball, few schools have a volleyball tradition as successful and rich as the history of the sport at BYU, whose all-time record now stands at 1,000-277-5 (.783). The Cougars' winning tradition was developed and shaped under the guidance of one of the nation's top all-time coaches, Elaine Michaelis, who retired from coaching in May 2002 after guiding the Cougar program for 40 years. Michaelis achieved an 886-225-5 (.792) mark during her 33 seasons that records were maintained at BYU beginning in 1969 to retire second all-time in collegiate volleyball victories. She guided her teams to a dominating 356-37 (.906) conference record and holds the distinction of winning the inaugural conference title in each of BYU's five leagues.

"I am really pleased to see the current team carrying on the tradition of BYU women's volleyball," said Michaelis, who is still the winningest female volleyball coach in NCAA history. "Not only has the team continued to be successful, but they're doing it the right way -- with class. The goal is not just to win but to represent BYU and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's great to see the team do such a great job."

Karen Lamb added 57 victories and an NCAA Tournament berth to the BYU total in her three seasons before Watson took the reins in 2005. Since that time, the Cougars have returned to the ranks of national contenders, going 57-13 in just over two years and winning the MWC title in 2005 while receiving back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths.

In the 38 seasons of its recorded history, the Cougars have only suffered one losing season and have won 20 or more matches in 31 of the past 33 seasons. They have won 24 conference titles and appeared in 33 of 38 national championship tournaments, including 23 of 26 NCAA Tournaments. BYU has finished in the top five of the AIAW National Championships four times, made the round of eight at the NCAA Tournament eight times and reached the NCAA Final Four once.

Individually, 23 Cougars have received 62 All-America awards, including nine AVCA/CVCA First Team, six Volleyball Magazine First Team and four Academic All-America First Team honors.

BYU's national tournament record is 75-47 (.615). The Cougars have had 10 top-five and 19 top-10 national placements. BYU's best finishes were second place in 1973, fourth place in 1978 and an NCAA semifinal appearance in 1993. In BYU's 23 trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Cougars have placed third once, fifth seven times, ninth six times and 17th seven times.

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