Head volleyball coach Linda Sagnelli was honored at the 21st Annual June Baker Higgins Conference and Inaugural Women of Influence Gala on Saturday, May 12th. Sagnelli has led the Blue Devil volleyball program to 200 victories on the court and a high level of academic success over the last 12 years.
The inaugural gala honored women who have significantly impacted CCSU or the wider community, made a significant contribution in the lives of women, diligently promoted women's rights, or have worked tirelessly to educate women. Proceeds from the event will benefit the June Baker Higgins Scholarship and other scholarships for women.
Sagnelli's squad continued a streak of nine consecutive Northeast Conference Tournament appearances in 2011.
During her time in New Britain, Sagnelli has posted double-digit victories each season and has had four 20-win campaigns. In addition to excelling on the court, Sagnelli's teams have performed well in the classroom, receiving the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association on multiple occasions including a current streak of five consecutive years. To be recognized by the AVCA a team must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.3. The volleyball team has posted the highest GPA among varsity teams at CCSU each of the last five years.
Over her 12 seasons, her players have earned seven major postseason awards from the Northeast Conference and six Academic All-District honors from ESPN and CoSida. In addition to numerous All-NEC selections.
Sagnelli has been recognized as NEC Coach of the Year on three occasions and during her time as head coach at Iona College, she was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for Volleyball and Softball. She is the only person in MAAC history to be named coach of the year in two sports.
Well respected in the volleyball community, Sagnelli held a position on the NCAA Regional Ranking Committee for three years and has been a member of the All-Region/All-American Selection Committee for four years.
A prominent member of the CCSU campus, Sagnelli has served in the Faculty Senate and is currently the chair of the Department Evaluation Committee, which she has served on for six years. While at Central, she has served on the NCAA Certification Steering Committee and the Gender Equity Committee, in addition to serving on numerous hiring committees.
While at Iona, Sagnelli wore a variety of hats, serving four years as an assistant athletics director and eleven as the school's senior women's administrator. She was responsible for overseeing all of the Gaels' women's athletic programs and served as an advisor and mentor to the women's coaching staff. She also directed Iona's intramurals program and served as chair of the MAAC Crew Championship Committee and on the MAAC Marketing Committee.
A graduate of C.W. Post, Sagnelli was inducted into her alma mater's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. As a student-athlete, she helped her team to an NCAA Tournament appearance and a top-10 ranking, while being named Most Valuable Player of a Division I/Division II AIAW Regional Championship as a senior in 1982.
Sagnelli was one of seven recipients of the women of influence award on Saturday. Fellow recipients included: Ms. Carol A. Ammon (Founder and former CEO Endo Pharmaceuticals), Dr. Joanne DiPlacido (Associate Professor of Psychology at Central Connecticut State University), The Honorable Carmen E. Espinosa (Judge Connecticut Appellate Court), Ms. Debra Goss (Manager, Division of Contract Compliance State of Connecticut Department of Transportation), Dr. Merle W. Harris (Educator Member, Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education) and Ms. Marlene Ibsen (Vice President, Community Relations,Travelers; CEO & President, Travelers Foundation).
For more information on the June Baker Higgins Scholarship or the Women of Influence Gala please visit their website.