VALPARAISO | Rather than embrace the task of rebuilding a major program, Carin Avery will stay with the one she has already shaped.
On Tuesday, Valparaiso University's volleyball coach turned down an offer to take the same position at Iowa and signed a four-year contract extension to stay with the Crusaders.
"I don't need the glitz and glamour of the Big Ten," said Avery, who was offered the job last week. "I'm trying to get back to the NCAA tournament."
If indeed that is Avery's ultimate goal, she appears to have made the right choice.
The Hawkeyes, who were 9-22 last season and 11th in the Big Ten, have had one winning season since 1995. The Crusaders, meanwhile, were 21-12 last season and advanced to the championship match of the Horizon League tournament.
That success was nothing new for the Crusaders under Avery, the winningest coach in VU volleyball history. Avery has guided the Crusaders to 20-win seasons in each of her six years at the helm. Overall, she has compiled a 147-55 record and taken VU to three NCAA tournaments.
"I have truly enjoyed my experience here and have loved every minute of it," said Avery, who's husband, Mike Avery, coaches the VU men's soccer team. "I don't know if a lot of people really understand that."
VU director of athletics Mark LaBarbera announced Avery's new contract on Tuesday in a press release.
"We are thrilled that coach Avery will continue to lead our volleyball program," LaBarbera said in the release. "She is one of the finest volleyball coaches in the country, and it is exciting to know we'll have her as part of the Valpo athletics family for at least the next four years."
At least one of Avery's players was equally excited by her decision.
"We're all very happy that she is staying," junior Brittany Malicoat said. "We were anticipating what was going to happen, just kind of freaking out wondering who we were going to get or how it was going to play out."