ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – After leading the UCF volleyball team to its second American Athletic Conference title in five seasons, the league's coaches honored Todd Dagenais as The American Coach of the Year. For Dagenais, the honor was the second of his career, after hauling in the award for the first time in 2014 when the Knights won the league title.
“People thought I was crazy when I went out and hired two head coaches to complete our staff,” Dagenais said. “Associate head coaches Jenny Maurer and Brian Doyon have taken an immense amount of responsibility and ownership of their roles to help us win matches, and we’ve been rewarded for it. They allow me to do the job I need to do to keep the train on the tracks and continue to move forward. I’m being very honest when I say that I don’t deserve this award. This is a credit to what we’ve been able to accomplish as a staff and as a team.”
In his 11th season at UCF, Dagenais and his staff guided the Knights to one of the best seasons in program history. The Black and Gold went 27-3 on the year, including a win over then No. 3 ranked Southern California. The Knights finished the regular season on a 24-match winning streak, the DI record for the program. UCF posted a perfect 18-0 mark in The American, becoming the third team to accomplish the feat in league history.
Dagenais and his staff oversaw a starting-lineup shakeup heading into the season. The Knights consistently started six underclassmen in their rotation with Erin Olson and Jordan Pingel serving as the lone upperclassmen on the floor.
Another major milestone that Dagenais and his staff were able to accomplish in 2018 was cracking the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches Poll for the first time in program history. Two weeks ago, the Knights climbed up to No. 21 in the national rankings.
Back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014 and hosting for the first time in UCF history, Dagenais and the Knights will open their postseason on Thursday night against FGCU at 7 p.m.