McKendree libero selected for AVCA Diversity Award

Photo by Fabiana Huffaker

A libero from the MIVA was selected for a national honor to help him pursue a volleyball coaching career.

The AVCA announced earlier this week that McKendree libero Jorge Collazo was among the 40 individuals to receive the AVCA Diversity Award.

The Diversity Award recipients are minority volleyball coaches and will participate in a variety of educational and developmental sessions at the 2020 AVCA Virtual Convention in December. In addition, Collazo and the rest of the award winners will be invited to the in-person 2021 AVCA Convention.

Along with participating at the AVCA Convention, all the recipients will become a part of the Diversity Award alumni program. The program provides mentorships and continued educational opportunities for individuals.

Collazo appeared in three matches during the shortened 2020 season and had nine digs in a four-game loss to Grand Canyon. The senior redshirted in 2019 and transferred to McKendree after having a 2.38 digs per game average with Lincoln Memorial in 2017.

This is the largest class in the five-year history of the AVCA Diversity Awards. Numerous college conferences including the MIVA donated to the AVCA Diversity Fund during the summer to help sponsor more award recipients in 2020.

“In these unprecedented times, we are excited about the leadership represented in the 2020 AVCA Diversity Award class. The largest class of recipients to date, come from all walks of life and represent different backgrounds and coaching experiences from each corner of the country,” Nickie Sanlin, McKendree coach and chair of the AVCA Diversity Development Team, said in a statement. “Our partnerships in the AVCA community to help educate, engage, and strengthen Black and ethnic minority coaches is not only intentional but critical to showcase the leaders who have come through the Diversity Program and their positive impact in the sport.”

Two additional individuals with MIVA ties, Larry Wrather and Elon Fyfield, received the Diversity Award this year.

Wrather is a former Ball State outside attacker and the current head coach of Fort Volleyball State, a new NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program that will start in 2022. Fyfield played at Purdue Fort Wayne and is an assistant coach at MIT.