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Kansas volleyball's Ray Bechard wins Big 12 Coach of the Year

Ray Bechard wins the Big 12 Coach of the Year in his 15th season at the helm of the Kansas Jayhawks.

In his 15th season at the head of the Kansas Jayhawks volleyball team, Ray Bechard was awarded the Big 12 Coach of the Year honor.

Bechard has led Kansas to four NCAA appearances and finished the 2012 regular season with a 25-6 overall record, including 12-4 in the Big 12. After being picked as the sixth-place team in the preseason poll, the No. 20 Jayhawks finished in third in the conference.

While he is appreciative of the award, Bechard knows the entire team earned the honor:

"There's a lot of fun things that have happened this year and it all centers around the successes of the team," Bechard said. "You don't get awards - weekly, national or any awards - if the team isn't excelling and achieving at a high level. It would be a little unfair of me to say `Wow this is a great award,' when really this is a Kansas volleyball team award."

Along with Bechard, a number of the Kansas players earned individual awards. Taylor Tolefree was named the league's inaugural Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Caroline Jarmoc and Sara McClinton were both awarded All-Big 12 First Team, Erin McNorton and Brianne Riley were named to the honorable mention squad and Tiana Dockery earned a place on the Big 12's All-Freshman Team.

The Jayhawks will begin their NCAA tournament run against Cleveland State in the first round on Friday inside Allen Fieldhouse.