Year in Troy: Coaches on the Rise

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As we close up shop on 2013-14, here is a look at the teams, athletes and moments that made it a milestone year.

Jovan Vavic and Peter Smith are the current standard bearers at Troy.  The masters of water polo and tennis have created dynasties only comparable to USC's historical legends like Dean Cromwell, Rod Dedeaux and John McKay.

Many of the other 18 sports have seen change at the top in recent years, and the early forecast is sunny skies ahead for programs like women's sand volleyball, which rose to No. 1 for most of its third season earning Anna Collier (pictured) the nod for National Coach of the Year.  In her first year in charge, Caryl Smith-Gilbert was named MPSF and Regional Track and Field Coach of the Year, while inaugural women's lacrosse head coach Lindsey Munday was honored as Lacrosse Magazine Person of the Year.

Men's and women's basketball hit the refresh button with Andy Enfield and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke.  Enfield's team struggled on the court, but his first recruiting class is USC's best in years.  Cooper led the Women of Troy on a Cinderella run to a Pac-12 Tournament title earning an automatic selection to March Madness.

Baseball is one of Troy's proudest programs, and the arrow is finally pointing up again for the hardball Trojans.  Under second year head coach Dan Hubbs, USC was back above .500, narrowly missed a postseason berth and is projected as a Top 25 team going into 2015.

And of course, football enjoyed its very own coaching carousel in 2013 with four different men holding the title at one point or another.  Steve Sarkisian is now the program's undisputed leader, and he inked a Top 10 recruiting class in his first two months on the job. 

The new coaches have more than Vavic and Smith from which to learn.  Andrea Gaston picked up Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors captaining the remarkably consistent women's golf team, while Hongping Li was also named the conference's best for mentoring national champion diver Haley Ishimatsu.

As we peek into 2014-15, which will see the USC head coaching debuts of Sarkisian and Keidane McAlpine for women's soccer, the standard of excellence has been set. 


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