BYU sports legend Elaine Michaelis inducted in the WCC Hall of Fame

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LAS VEGAS — The applause from the crowd filled the Mardi Gras ballroom Saturday morning as Elaine Michaelis was inducted into the West Coast Conference Hall of Fame. Michaelis was the only woman among nine other inductees.

“It is a big honor,” Michaelis said. “I’d like to see more women being honored, and I know they have in the past, but each institution selects the person they want to be honored. It’s a first class event, with lots of people who have accomplished so much.”

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Elaine Michaelis, a sports legend at BYU,was the only woman inducted into the West Coast Conference Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Michaelis has been a part of almost every sport at BYU. She was the head athletic director for women’s sports from 1995-2004. She has also coached the Cougars’ women basketball, softball, field hockey and volleyball teams.

“It was a nice cumulation and it gave me a chance to kind of reflect over my career,” she said. “It let me think about what happened when and remember some things I haven’t remembered for a long time because you have some time to reminisce, it was really special.”

She has left her mark not only at BYU but among college sports nationwide. In 1961 she became the second-winningest coach in NCAA Division I volleyball history. She has the most wins of a woman volleyball coach at any level. She coached the Cougars for more than 40 years.

“You need to be the best person you can be,” she said. “Do something that you enjoy doing. Because if you don’t enjoy doing it, it’s no fun along the road. As you have the experiences of competing and playing, whether it’s in junior Jazz, work your way up, have those developmental experiences and have fun. Get involved and have fun.”

She is no stranger to being recognized. She has won 11 coach of the year awards and inducted into the BYU, UNGWS, AVCA and Utah Summer Games halls of fame.

When asked what the highlight of her career has been she didn’t miss a beat in answering.

“It’s really hard because there’s been a lot,” she said. “But I would say the 1993 volleyball team when we went to the Final Four, it was a very special event.”

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