GREENVILLE, Ill. -- Greenville head volleyball coach Tom Ackerman was recently selected as one of five recipients of the 2010 USA Volleyball Gateway region's Dennis Lafata Meritorious Service Award. He joins John Chittakhone, Rebecca Czuppon, Anne Kordes, and John Yehling as the newest honorees.
Each year, the Gateway Region is allowed to name up to five people to receive the Dennis Lafata meritorious service award, named in memory of the former associate commissioner and Gateway region office staff member who passed away in October 2005 after an extended battle with leukemia. The award was previously known as the Robert L. Lindsay meritorious service award in honor of a former USA Volleyball president. The award recognizes those individuals who have contributed greatly to the sport of volleyball on a regional level.
"Your efforts have been invaluable to the continuing development and promotion of volleyball in the Gateway Region," said Gateway region commissioner Tim Neels in a letter to Ackerman. "We hope your involvement will continue for many years to come.
In eight years as head volleyball coach, Ackerman has earned the second-highest number of wins as a Greenville volleyball coach, holding the second position behind Lynn Adams. He also coached boys in the St. Louis CYC volleyball club for three years.
His prowess in coaching and playing volleyball is well-documented as he has remained active beyond his Greenville College coaching assignment. Each year he organizes over 16 US Volleyball youth tournaments up to 16 teams, individual camps, and team camps that enable young people to further develop their abilities in volleyball. He currently plays in an adult league and has been a member of a team that participated in the USA Volleyball nationals.
His role with the Gravity volleyball club has led to more than eight teams with participants ranging in age from 12 to 18.
"It's an award for promoting volleyball," said Ackerman. Hosting these tournaments and camps have been beneficial for Greenville College, especially in light of our greater emphasis on producing junior varsity programs."
Ackerman and his 2010 volleyball team open their season on Saturday, Aug. 28, when its varsity and junior varsity hosts four teams in exhibition matches. The regular season opener will be played in St. Louis against defending NCAA Division III national champion Washington University on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Panthers play their first home match on Tuesday, Sept. 7, against Benedictine at 7 p.m.
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