LEXINGTON, KY - Florida Southern College volleyball added to its litany of postseason awards when associate head coach Chris Keen was named as the AVCA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Wednesday. Keen is the first Florida Southern coach, head or associate/assistant, to be named as a national coach of the year.
"Chris Keen has the skill set of every phenomenal assistant coach and contributes to all phases of our success as a program," said head coach Jill Stephens. "I believe his greatest impact comes in his vision and his ability to execute a creative plan to make that vision a reality, whether it be in our recruiting, game plan or the oversight of our student-athletes. As our offensive coordinator, his impact on our offensive numbers this year is evident. However, I believe it is his creativity, day-to-day discipline, and commitment to success that make Chris such an invaluable part of this program."
This season, his fifth with the Moccasins, Keen helped coach a squad that posted a 28-6 record heading into the NCAA National Championships, posted a 19-1 mark in Sunshine State Conference play, won both the SSC and NCAA South Region titles, and finished with three AVCA all-Americans (Bethany Besancenez, Nicole Mattson, Anna Tovo). Florida Southern enters the NCAA quarterfinals on a 21-match winning streak, the second longest in school history.
In addition, the Mocs earned four all-conference honors, eight SSC weekly awards, and one AVCA National Player of the Week honor. Keen transitioned to the role of the team's offensive coordinator this year after spending the previous four years coordinating the defense. This season, the Moccasin offense led the Sunshine State Conference in kills per set (14.29), hitting percentage (.269), and opponent blocks per set (1.37).
Florida Southern ranks among the top 50 nationally in six different major offensive categories, including ninth in hitting percentage and 13th in both kills per set and total team kills (1,743). The Mocs have two of the top offensive players in the nation in Mattson and Tovo, who finished among the top 50 in the country in both kills per set and total kills. This year's team improved its kills per set by 1.07 over last year, while hitting 44 points higher than last year (.225). The Mocs also committed just 515 attack errors this year as compared to 609 in 2016.
In addition to his role in the Moccasins' on-court success, Keen is also responsible for coordinating all opponent scouting reports and serves as the team's recruiting coordinator. Outside of the day-to-day volleyball operations Keen is active in community engagement efforts such as Habitat for Humanity, as well as coordinating all of the team's community engagement projects and the Mocs' "Freshman Move-In" efforts every fall.
Florida Southern will face Cal State San Bernardino in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship at 1 p.m. on Thursday for the right to advance to the national semifinals.