One of the more important positions in terms of getting teams into the NCAA Tournament is the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) Chairman. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the West Region RAC Chair (Ed Garza) term has expired and he was recently replaced by Hardin-Simmons Head Coach Sabrina Bingham. Coach Bingham was the logical choice as she was a current member on the RAC and was essentially Coach Garza’s assistant at the regionals. I talked to Ed Garza about Coach Bingham’s appointment and he said, “She will do an amazing job. Sabrina will be a great resource for the region.”
This will be Coach Bingham’s 13th season at Hardin-Simmons where she’s the all-time wins leader. She has guided her team to four NCAA Tournament appearances and has been the ASC coach of the year four times. She now has to navigate the NCAA Selection Committee mine field and face unrelenting criticism by me in the process. Please keep a good thought for Coach Bingham at all times in the coming years. As for my take, Sabrina has been very tolerant of me in my D3VbWest efforts so I’m very happy for her. I really feel the West Region RAC Chair is one of the toughest because of how spread out the region is and how that negatively impacts the selection criteria. My hope is that Sabrina will continue to hammer this point home to the Selection Committee.
For those that haven’t checked out what the RAC does on my FAQ page, let me summarize. Each of the 8 regions has a RAC consisting of a representative from each conference. Their job is to follow the NCAA selection criteria and rank between 8 and 12 teams that will be used as the basis of determining the at-large selections. There is also a RAC Chairman (Coach Bingham’s new position) that oversees this process and along with the 7 other RAC Chairs makes up the National Selection Committee. Along with NCAA Associate Director Jan Gentry they determine the Pool B and Pool C (at-large) bids come selection day. As you can see, this is kind of an important position.
In other RAC news, the elevation of Coach Bingham means the ASC representative needs to be filled. My understanding is that this will be announced later in the year once all of the coaching changes get done. My best guess is that UT-Dallas Marci Allison and McMurry Cammie Petree will be the leading contenders for this position. My dark horse candidate would be Concordia’s Nicole McCoy.
Looking outside of the West Region, the only other RAC Chair position that needs to be filled is in the Midwest Region. Lawrence Head Coach Matthew Schoultz held the position but his term was up and he has since moved on from Lawrence.
Now, if you want to get scared a bit, Coach Schoultz was also the Chair of the Selection Committee. Think of him as the Chair to all of the Chairs. This means another RAC Chair will be elevated to this position and my big fear is that Springfield College Head Coach Moira Long will get it. I just see too much love between the NCAA and the New England Region for this not to happen. The only problem will be that Coach Long just has one more year on her current RAC term. If this all plays out like I think then pay attention to the assistant chair who will most likely be elevated in 2020. My best guess this will be South Region’s Danny Miller (Coach for Averett) or Mid-Atlantic Region’s Kim Kelly (Associate Director of Athletics for Carnegie Mellon).
In other news…
It’s a very sad day because the College of New Rochelle is closing their doors after this semester is over. Rumors that the college was named after me are not true but should continued to be spread. Also closing their doors are Newbury and Southern Vermont so it appears that DIII volleyball will field fewer teams in 2019.
I saw a note where UC Santa Cruz requested a waiver for the 70% in-region rule, which was approved by the NCAA. This means the Banana Slugs have a little more freedom in filling out their schedule as it’s always tough on an independent.
Nothing new on the UMHB coaching position. This still is the only West Region coaching position open at this time. Just really strange this has taken so long to fill. As I’ve said before, there was a big name coach applying for the position but I just saw where they announced their 2019 recruits so really I have no idea at this point.