No matter what sport you are coaching and no matter what level, to reach the milestone of 800 wins is an incredible accomplishment and worthy of mention. That is why this article will be dedicated to the accomplishments of Dr. Vickie Denny, the Head Volleyball Coach at Clearwater Christian College in Clearwater, FL.
This past Fall, the Lady Cougars finished the season with a record of 45-4 en route to an NCCAA Div. ll National Championship for the fourth year in a row. Clearwater Christian competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Div. ll level. The Lady Cougars defeated several Junior College teams during the regular season, and they also defeated a few NCAA Div. ll and lll colleges as well. Clearwater marched through the NCCAA Regional and National Tournaments to the National Final, where they defeated Lincon Christian 3 games to 2 (25-12, 25-23, 24-26, 23-25, 17-15) to win the National Title. That last win gave Coach Denny 798 wins in her 27 year coaching career.
Clearwater Christian does not get the publicity that the big schools get, but this team has proven they can compete and beat just about any school in the NCCAA, NAIA, NCAA Div. ll & lll and the NJCAA. It is not far fetched that the Lady Cougars, if given the opportunity, could knock off some NCAA Div. l schools as well. Under Coach Denny's guidance, the Clearwater Christian Womens' Volleyball program has won nine NCCAA Div. ll National Titles and finished National Runner Up twice. Nine National Titles, including four in a row, that is amazing at any level. This most recent national title in 2009 is their 9th in the last 15 years.
The team loses three seniors who have all won three national titles, but 9 underclassmen return in 2010 for what should be another strong team gunning for their 5th national title in a row. Coach Denny will probably reach her milestone of 800 wins early in the 2010 campaign, but more important to her is to see young women grow in their love for the Lord and in their love for the sport of Volleyball. In reflecting on the accomplishments of the 2009 team, Coach Denny gave all thanks and praise to God: "We are very thankful for the successful season that the Lord gave us. With only four players coming back from last year’s championship team, I was amazed at how well our new players came in and contributed immediately", Coach Denny said. "The Lord brought in some great new players to help us keep up our winning tradition. This year was especially rewarding because the team strived to do all things with excellence as unto the Lord and not unto man.”
The success of the Clearwater Christian Womens' Volleyball Program should be right up there with the UCLA Men's Basketball Program's 11 national championships. To win one national title alone is a great accomplishment, but to win 10 over a period of 23 years and 4 in a row is astounding, no matter what the level of play is. Though she doesn't seek it, Clearwater Christian Head Coach Vickie Denny should be considered for induction into the United States Volleyball Hall of Fame. With the 800 win mark approaching, Denny ranks near the top of the list of most wins of all college volleyball coaches. Information in this article was obtained from the CCC web site www.clearwater.edu/athletics.