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Eastern Wyoming's Verl Petsch, Jr. honored with NJCAA Loyalty Award
 April 15, 2014

Legendary coach and athletic director recognized for his leadership and contributions to two-year college athletics 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Long time volleyball coach and athletic director at Eastern Wyoming College Verl Petsch, Jr., who recently announced his retirement, was presented the NJCAA Loyalty Award by NJCAA Executive Director Mary Ellen Leicht during a special athletic banquet Saturday, April 13th on the campus of EWC in Torrington, Wyo.

The NJCAA Loyalty Award is given by the association to an athletic director at an NJCAA member college who has worked to uphold the ideals of the organization. Loyalty Award winners have displayed outstanding leadership in an athletic program that resulted in excellence both on the playing field and in the classroom. Petsch is just the 15th person in the 76-year history of the NJCAA to receive the Loyalty Award.

Petsch is responsible for establishing the women’s volleyball program at Eastern Wyoming in the 1970’s and recently completed his 40th season as head coach. During his four decades guiding the Lancers, his teams captured six NJCAA Region 9 Championships and advanced to the NJCAA Volleyball Championship Tournament seven times, placing as high as fifth (1996, '98). His teams competed in the Region 9 title match 16 times while winning 13 Wyoming Community College Athletic Conference crowns.

At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Petsch boasted an overall record of 1,085-699 (.608), placing him second all-time in career victories in NJCAA volleyball history (Joe Ellen Stringer, Jefferson, Mo. – 1,181 wins). The six-time Region 9 Coach of the Year was inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1998 and the activities center and gymnasium at EWC was named in his honor in 2002. He coached 17 All-Americans and 66 All-Region 9 players. Even more impressive, 30 of his players received NJCAA academic honors during his tenure.

In addition to leading the volleyball program, Petsch served as athletic director for the Lancers since 1979, providing steady and consistent leadership to the Lancers’ men’s and women’s basketball and men’s golf programs.

Petsch’s leadership was also felt at the national level, serving as a member of the NJCAA Board of Directors from 1993-2005. As the Women’s Region 9 Director, he served on many national committees and was the chair of the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Committee from 1996-2005.

Photo (from left to right): EWC Asst. Volleyball Coach Lance Petsch, NJCAA Executive Director Mary Ellen Leicht, Verl Petsch with wife Bonnie, and NJCAA Asst. Executive Director Mark Krug. EWC Photo (click on photo for larger image).

About the NJCAA
Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. The NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.

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