With his sights set on an unprecedented sixth national championship trophy, Russ Rose hasn't even had the time to take notice of another piece of hardware he picked up recently. Rose didn't find out that he had won his sixth American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Mideast Region Coach of the Year award until his wife told him on Tuesday.
In a Wednesday press conference, Rose made it clear that he's very particular as it pertains to what sort of awards he's looking to adorn his trophy case with.
"Individual awards in a team sport don't really resonate that well with me," Rose said. "When you have a good team and have great success there's a lot of awards that get passed out amongst the players and the coaches, but in the end, success in a program comes from a university's support, an entire staff commitment, and the players really working hard."
Sophomore Micha Hancock, who recently received the inaugural Big Ten Setter of the Year award, is no stranger to the variety of different accolades bestowed upon the best that the NCAA has to offer. Hancock received a slew of awards after the 2011 season, her first at the collegiate level. But the ultimate prize, a national championship, eluded her and the rest of the Nittany Lions.
Hancock credits Rose with helping her to improve her play from last season, and like her coach, has her sights set on a goal bigger than any individual accolade.
"He's hard on us, everyone knows he's harsh. And that's the big thing, to fill that standard," Hancock said. "He wants perfection, and that's what I like about him. I'm a perfectionist myself so he's got me pushing at every moment. It's just made me so much better as a player."
Unlike her teammate, senior Marika Racibarskas has played on a national championship team. As a matter of fact, she's played on two and is hoping to make it three of four by the time this season's over.
In discussing what she thinks it is that has enabled the award-winning Rose to experience so much success; Racibarskas divulged a crucial facet of his coaching style which is, more often than not, overlooked. Rose acts as more than just a coach to these players.
Racibarskas said Rose not only prepares her and her teammates for success on the court, but off of it as well. She went on to talk about her own personal relationship with Rose.
"I know for me personally he's taught me so many lessons. He relates everything back to life, back to relationships, back to the working world," Racibarskas said. "I think coach Rose just does a good job seeing the potential of the player and he knows what to say to that player to get them to reach their potential."