Elaine Michaelis Receives Prestigious MWC Honor

The Mountain West Conference honored former BYU coach and administrator Elaine Michaelis Friday with its prestigious Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Elaine Michaelis Selected as 2005 Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award Recipient

COLORADO SPRINGS -- Elaine Michaelis, a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2003 and the winningest female coach in collegiate volleyball history, has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 Mountain West Conference Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award.

Michaelis spent her entire career at BYU, first as a student-athlete, then serving as a coach for several sports from 1961-2002, including head-coaching assignments with women's field hockey, softball, basketball and volleyball. She later became the director of women's intercollegiate athletics in 1995. Michaelis dedicated 40 years to being the BYU women's volleyball coach, retiring in 2002 as the winningest female coach in collegiate volleyball. She is also No. 2 all-time in NCAA Division I volleyball victories. As an administrator, Michaelis put the student-athlete first as she worked tirelessly to balance the interests of BYU and the Mountain West Conference.

Michaelis has always been passionate about the development of women's sports and focused her career on furthering these opportunities. Over the course of her tenure, she served as chairperson of the AIAW Volleyball Committee, NAGWS Rules Committee and AIAW National Ethics and Eligibility Committee and was a member of the AIAW Executive Committee, USVBA Rules Committee and NCAA Regional Volleyball Committee. An NAGWS and NCAA clinician, Michaelis also served on the MWC Television and Championships Committee.

Michaelis was honored as the 2002 United States Olympic Committee National Volleyball Coach of the Year, and was selected by fellow MWC volleyball coaches to receive a Career Achievement award. During her volleyball coaching career, Michaelis never suffered a losing season and finished with 28 consecutive 20-win seasons. Her teams qualified for 30 of 33 national tournaments, including 20 of 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, and won 23 conference titles. She garnered 10 different Coach of the Year honors. Under her tutelage, 18 players earned 51 all-America awards, while one player was honored as the national player of the year.

Michaelis holds a bachelor's and master's degree in physical education from BYU and was a member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams as an undergraduate.

The award is named for former Colorado State University president Dr. Albert C. Yates, who served from 1990-2003. The Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award is bestowed on any individual associated with the Mountain West Conference who has served, supported and promoted the goals and ideals of the conference or a member institution, and who through personal effort and dedication, has enhanced the ability of the conference and/or its member institutions to provide a positive experience for the student-athletes enrolled at any MWC institution.