One of the most successful coaches in Valpo Athletics history, Carin Avery will continue to lead the Valpo Volleyball program into the future, as Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera announced today that Avery has signed a new multi-year contract.
“Volleyball under Carin Avery exemplifies the Valpo Experience,” LaBarbera said. “Under her leadership, the young women who make up Valpo Volleyball excel both athletically and academically, year in and year out. She knows how to help all of her student-athletes reach their full potential, both on the court and off. She knows volleyball at a very high level and is an outstanding educator. We are excited to have finalized a new contract that will keep her a part of Valpo Athletics into the foreseeable future.”
Avery is coming off one of her best seasons at the helm of the volleyball program. The 2021 season saw the Beacons post a 26-10 record, including a 12-6 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play to finish in third place in the MVC regular season standings — the program’s best finish since joining the Valley. The team earned a berth in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship and won four matches in a run to the tournament title match.
Last season was just another chapter in the legacy of success that Avery has had as head coach of the Valpo volleyball program. In 20 seasons as head coach at Valpo, Avery — the winningest coach in program history — owns a 449-217 overall record. Her teams have won 20 or more matches 16 times under her tutelage, including 10 seasons of 25 or more victories. Under Avery, Valpo has won three conference regular season titles, advanced to seven conference tournament title matches and won three conference tournament championships. The program has made five postseason appearances in her tenure — three NCAA Tournaments and two NIVC berths.
The program has shown tremendous consistency under Avery, finishing in the top half of the conference standings 19 times in her 20 seasons —a time frame which has seen the program make multiple conference transitions: from the Mid-Continent Conference to the Horizon League, and then to the Missouri Valley Conference. Avery has led Valpo to top-half finishes in the MVC standings in each of the program’s first five seasons in the Valley, making Valpo one of just two MVC programs to post top-half finishes each of the last five years.
Under Avery, a multitude of players have enjoyed individual success as well. She has coached six AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans and seven All-Region recipients during her time at Valpo. Avery has led three conference Players of the Year, three Setters of the Year, 10 Libero/Defensive Players of the Year and three Freshman/Newcomers of the Year. In her 20 seasons, 58 Valpo players have been All-Conference selections and 19 players have been named to league All-Freshman/Newcomer teams.
Six of Valpo’s eight individual and seven of nine team single-season records have been set during Avery’s time as head coach, while six of Valpo’s eight individual career records are held by Avery’s players as well. She has already coached seven members of the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame.
Success in the classroom has been just as paramount for Avery’s program. Valpo boasts three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and nine Academic All-District selections in her time as head coach. In just five seasons to date as a Valley program, 16 student-athletes have been named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams. Valpo has earned the AVCA Team Academic Award 16 times, and is a three-time member of the AVCA Team Academic Honor Roll, which was instituted in 2016 to recognize the highest-achieving volleyball programs in the classroom.