Jester Awarded Mike English Scholarship

Oct. 14, 2010


University of Wyoming Volleyball senior JennaRae Jester has been awarded the 2010 Mike English Volleyball Scholarship.

On Aug. 16, 1995, Nancy English and the University of Wyoming Athletics Department announced the establishment of the Mike English Women's Volleyball Scholarship at the University of Wyoming. The scholarship honors English who coached the Cowgirl volleyball team from 1986 to 1993.

The scholarship is awarded annually to the University of Wyoming women's volleyball senior with the highest cumulative grade-point average. Recipients of the scholarship must already be athletic scholarship student-athletes at UW as generally defined by the regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

A business administration major from Cheyenne, Wyo., Jester currently carries a 3.972 grade point average. She has played and started in all 20 matches this season, while averaging a team leading 1.48 blocks, which is second in the Mountain West Conference. She currently has 292 career blocks and needs 19 to move into the Top 12 in that category in the school record book. Jester is also a two-time Academic All-MWC and Scholar Athlete selection, while earning ESPN Academic All-District VII honors during her career.

Mike English was hired as head volleyball coach at the University of Wyoming on Jan. 10, 1986. No one could have predicted the immediate and long-lasting impact English would have on Cowgirl volleyball. His seven-year career speaks for itself. He guided the Cowgirls to Wyoming's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in his first season (1986). He would later lead Wyoming to two more NCAA appearances in 1989 and `90. In the 1989 NCAA Tournament, Wyoming emerged as the "Cinderella" of the championship, defeating heavily-favored Stanford and earning its way to the Elite Eight before falling to UCLA on the Bruins' home court in the West Regional Final. English has won more matches (124) and posted a higher winning percentage (59.0 percent) than any coach in UW volleyball history. He ended his career with a 124-86 record at Wyoming and a 253-161 (.611) career record, including six years (1980-85) at the University of Missouri. English earned High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1987 and 1989 and was named West Region Co-Coach of the Year in `89.

On Dec. 12, 1993, the University of Wyoming, the Laramie community and the college volleyball world was shocked to hear that English had been seriously injured in an auto accident between Laramie and Fort Collins, Colo. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash, which left him 100 percent disabled. On Nov. 20, 2000, former head coach Mike English passed away at the Long-Term Supported Living Program at Learning Services in Lakewood, Colo. He is missed by all who knew him.

In the fall of 1997 the first Mike English Women's Volleyball Scholarship was awarded. Senior outside hitter Julie Overton, an education major, from Indianola, Iowa, was the first-ever recipient of the award.

Below is a list of the previous winners of the award.

Year - Student-Athlete, Hometown, Major

  • 1997 - Julie Overton, Indianola, Iowa, Education
  • 1998 - Anne Stohrer, Buffalo, Wyo., Speech, Language and Hearing Science
  • 1999 - Colette Perryman, Laramie, Wyo., Speech, Language and Hearing Science
  • 2000 - Melody Friehauf, Windsor, Colo., Education
  • 2001 - Rachel Lau, Redwood City, Calif., Anthropology
  • 2002 - Katy Brown, West Covina, Calif., Sociology
  • 2003 - Amanda Miller, Dix, Nebraska, Math Education
  • 2004 - Amy Doman, Brentwood, Tenn., Health Sciences
  • 2005 - Andrea Seele, Johnstown, Colo., Accounting
  • 2006 - Andrea Seele, Johnstown, Colo., Accounting
  • 2007 - Angie Hellbaum, Wheatland, Wyo., Communications
  • 2008 - Carissa Lee, Eugene, Ore., Speech Language and Hearing Science
  • 2009 - Jessica Kagarise, Monument, Colo., Business Administration/Finance
  • 2010 - JennaRae Jester, Cheyenne, Wyo., Business Administration