NCAA Womens Volleyball

Kathy DeBoer ’78 Awarded USA Volleyball Lifetime Achievement Award

Aliyah Moore and Kathy DeBoer '78, volleyball, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michigan State volleyball and women’s basketball alumna Kathy DeBoer ’78 was awarded with the USA Volleyball Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Lifetime Achievement Award at the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame banquet on Wednesday night. The Frier Award is considered USA Volleyball’s highest honor and recognizes longtime significant contributions to the sport of volleyball. 

“There is nobody more deserving of USA Volleyball’s Frier Award than Kathy DeBoer,” said Michigan State head volleyball coach Leah Johnson. “Her dedication to the sport of volleyball led to exponential growth for our game over the course of her career. Kathy is a trailblazer as one of the most prominent advocates for women’s athletics and is someone our current student-athletes revere.”


Aliyah Moore (left) and Kathy DeBoer post-game in 2023

DeBoer has long been one of the top advocates for volleyball and women’s athletics nationwide. Her 17-year stint as Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) saw volleyball grow at unprecedented levels, becoming the top team sport for high school girls in the United States in 2015. DeBoer notably initiated the process for adding beach volleyball to the NCAA Emerging Sports list for women, which led to it becoming an NCAA championship sport in 2016. 

Prior to her time with the AVCA, DeBoer served as head volleyball coach at both Ferris State University and the University of Kentucky before moving into athletic administration at Kentucky. DeBoer rose to the title of Senior Associate Athletics Director before joining the AVCA. 

“I know firsthand how Kathy’s dedication and passion for volleyball has inspired countless athletes like me to strive for excellence,” said rising senior Julia Bishop. “Her commitment to fostering young talent has paved the way for future generations to pursue their dreams with confidence. Thank you, Kathy, for being such an inspiring figure in our volleyball community and representing Michigan State with so much honor!” 

A Spartan standout on the volleyball and basketball courts, DeBoer helped the MSU volleyball program to an 82-13 record along with a pair of Big Ten titles and two trips to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national tournament. Michigan State took ninth in 1975 and seventh in 1976, with DeBoer…

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