Two professional players turned national team coaches

The turnaround time for these two additions were quick. They agreed to be part of the project and were interviewed within only a couple of days. Lots of international and professional coaching experience.

Stelio DeRocco (Canada)
Coached the national team of Australia during the 2000 Olympic cycle, and then with his home Canadian national team where he won a NORCECA championship and coached in the 2003 World Cup. Coached several professional teams in the top divisions of Italy and Romania. Member of the Canadian Government Coaching Implementation Group from 2003 to 2004. As a player was a professional in Europe and a member of the Canadian national team.

Vital Heynen (Belgium)
Also a former international and professional player, Vital is perhaps best known internationally for leading the German men’s national team to the bronze medal in the 2014 World Championships. As a professional coach, however, he has also won four league titles, five Cups, and four Super Cups along with two CEV Cup medals in is native Belgium, and was twice named coach of the year. He has also coached teams in Poland and Turkey.

A highly experienced female pro coach, and one of the UK’s best

We’ve added perhaps the most successful coach in UK history to the list of Volleyball Coaching Wizards interview commitments. We’ve also added one of the relatively few highly experienced female professional coaches.

Svetlana Ilic (Russia)
bio pending

Jefferson Williams (U.K.)
When it comes to UK coaching success, it’s hard to beat Jefferson. As a player-coach with Mallory Eagles VC his teams won 20 national titles between 1987 and 2010, including 10 in a row and a 96 match unbeaten run. Throw in 15 cup titles to boot. Now, on top of that add 12 league championships and 11 cups between 1989 and 2006 coaching the women. This is alongside being the England Senior men’s head coach from 1987 to 2003, assistant coach for the Great Britain squad from 1990 to 1997, interim GB Women’s coach from 2005 to 2007, and head coach of the England Women’s Developmental Squad from 2007 to 2012. He’s been Volleyball England, England, and UK Coach of the Year. Jefferson also coached for a time in Sweden.

Closing in on 30 with three more commitments

You know you’ve earned some respect when other Wizards are recommending you for this project. That is the case with all three of today’s additions.

Craig Fail (UK)
As head coach of the Scottish Women’s National Team, Craig led the team to bronze in the 2013 CEV Small Countries Division Final and to qualification for the 2015 edition taking place this month. He spent several years as assistant with the Scottish men’s senior national team, as well as head coach of the Junior team. At the club level where he has coached for nearly 30 years, Craig’s 2003 Falkirk women’s team win the 2003 Scottish Cup, and his 2014-15 City of Edinburgh VC women won the Division I title, the Division I play-offs, and the National Cup Final.

Marilyn McReavy-Nolen (USA)
A member of the original class of AVCA Hall of Fame inductees in 2003, Marilyn was specifically cited by Ruth Nelson below during Ruth’s own induction speech in 2014 as being one of volleyball coaching’s luminaries. She became only the 3rd coach to reach 800 wins in NCAA Division I, and did it over 31 seasons with six different programs. Her honors include induction in to the Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 1978, being named a “Leader in Volleyball” in 1992 by USA Volleyball, selection as one of the inaugural recipients of USA Volleyball’s All-Time Great Coaches Award in 1996, and the AVCA Founders Award in 1999.

Ruth Nelson (USA)
An inductee into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2014 – which at least one other Wizard coach thinks was a ridiculously long wait – Ruth doesn’t fit neatly into any one category. Ruth racked up more than 500 victories during a 16-year NCAA Division I collegiate coaching career, and coached the likes of Flo Hyman and Rita Crockett. She also served under Arie Selinger as assistant coach of the US national team, as well as head coach of the Junior national team, in the World University Games, and in Major League Volleyball


Two HUGE additions

A pair of Hall of Famers and two of the most highly respected coaches have agreed to be part of the Wizards project today.

Arnie Ball (USA)
Inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2012, Arnie recently retired after 34 seasons as the men’s volleyball coach at IPFW and over 500 victories. His teams won the MIVA Championship and reached the NCAA Final Four six times, and was national runner-up in 2007. He’s had 15 players earn All-American selection, six have been MIVA Player of the Year, and two played in the Olympics. Arnie also coached the IPFW women for 8 seasons, winning over 200 matches and four conference titles, with two trips to the NCAA tournament. All of this follows three championships as a high school coach in Indiana as well. He has also been active at the international level, having been a scout for the US team at the 2000 Olympics and led several teams at the World University Games.

Terry Pettit (USA)
A 2009 AVCA Hall of Fame inductee, Terry created the powerhouse Nebraska women’s volleyball program. In 23 seasons his teams won 21 conference championships, made 18 straight trips to the NCAA tournament, reached the semifinals 7 times, made the finals 3 times, and won the 1995 championship. His teams finished in the Top 10 of the final NCAA Division I rankings 15 straight years and tallied nearly 700 wins. After retiring following the 1999 season, Terry has been involved in coach mentoring and has worked with a number of Division I programs. He’s also written multiple books, including Talent and the Secret Life of Teams.


Three more Wizards commitments

This set of new additions to the ranks of committed Wizards includes two of New England’s most highly respected collegiate coaches and the winningest high school coach in Illinois history.

Joel Dearing (USA)
As coach of the Springfield College women for 30 years, Joel ranks in the top 10 in NCAA Division III victories with over 700.  He also coached the men’s team from 1990 to 1996, and in his last season lead the program to a final #1 national ranking. Joel was AVCA Regional Coach of the Year on five occassions and coached 10 All-Americans. He is a member of the USA Volleyball CAP Cadre, has run clinics internationally, and has authored two books – Volleyball Fundamentals (2003), and William G. Morgan – Inventor of Volleyball (2007).

Peg Kopec (USA)
bio pending

Bob Schneck (USA)
As head coach at the University of Rhode Island for 35 seasons, Bob has amassed nearly 600 victories. His teams have won 3 Atlantic-10 tournament titles and have made 11 trips to the finals. His 1985 team achieved a Top-25 national ranking and was the only A-10 team to beat Penn State during the latter’s tenure in the conference. Bob’s 1995 team reached the semifinals of the NIT and he was NCAA District I Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1996. As a member of the USA Volleyball CAP cadre, Bob has a long record of working in coaching education and to help grow and develop volleyball in the New England region – including helping to organize and host the 1984 National Junior Olympic championships. All of this followed a highly successful high school coaching career in Pennsylvania where one of his highlights was beating Mick Haley’s Kellogg CC team.

Two more interview commitments for the list

Here’s today’s pair of new Wizard interview commitments.

Sue Gozansky (USA)
A member of the 2006 AVCA Hall of Fame induction class, Sue travels the world as an FIVB coaching course instructor, as well as being a member of the USAV CAP Cadre and author of a pair of books. She made her name in coaching by leading the UC-Riverside program for nearly 40 years. During that span she won nearly 700 matches and two NCAA Division II titles and an AIAW Small College Championship. Her teams had an NCAA-record streak of 20 straight playoff appearances. She has coached at the Olympic Sports Festival as well as the USA Women’s “B” volleyball team consisting of players being considered for roster spots on the National Team and was men’s and women’s coach for the quadrennial Maccabiah Games (Jewish Olympics) in Israel in 1981, 1985, 1989 and 1993.

Stephen Pierce (USA)
As coach of Eden High School for 27 years, Stephen is the winningest coach in New York state history with over 900 victories. Under his stewardship, Eden has won 11 state titles. By comparison, the next highest championship count for any school is 6. His teams have ranked as high as #16 nationally. Stephen was named 2010 National Volleyball High School Co-Coach of the year. He has also coached extensively at the Juniors level and has trained numerous players who went on to play NCAA Division I and II volleyball.

Two legendary coaches added to the list

Two coaches and nearly 80 years of coaching experienced are being added to our list of Volleyball Coaching Wizards committed interviewees. I doubt these gentleman need much introduction, but here’s a bit about them anyway. :-)

John Dunning (USA)
Inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2011, John is one of only a handful of coaches who can claim to have won NCAA National Championships at two different schools. He got his first two at Pacific where he won over 400 matches in 16 seasons. His teams reached the NCAA tournament every year and won 5 conference titles, with John earning Coach of the Year honors four times. Since 2001 he has been at Stanford, where he’s picked up another two National Championships with four runner-up finishes, with eight conference titles. John’s now crossed the 800 career win mark. He’s coached 8 National Players of the Year and 73 All-Americans.

Al Scates (USA)
A 2004 AVCA Hall of Fame inductee, and a member of the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame as well, Al stands as the biggest name in USA men’s collegiate volleyball. His UCLA teams amassed 19 NCAA titles and over 1000 victories, plus 2 USVBA championships in the pre-NCAA era (his combined win total is north of 1200) over a 50 year coaching tenure which ended in 2012. They also grabbed 23 conference titles, and shared another. Al’s program produced 44 US National Team members, and 27 Olympians.

Starting the new week with more Hall of Famers

We start this week off with three more Hall of Fame coaches joining the list of those who have agreed to be interviewed for Volleyball Coaching Wizards – in one case, a multiple Hall of Fame inductee. We also have a highly respected (and decorated) Juniors coach and a member of the USA Volleyball national team staff who also happens to have coached for more than 25 years in the Big Ten.

Mick Haley (USA)
A 2006 AVCA Hall of Fame Inductee, Mick became the first coach of a non-West Coast team to win an NCAA Division I championship when he led Texas to the title in 1988. That wasn’t even his first national championship, though. Mick won a total of 6 junior college championships at Kellogg Community College between 1973 and 1979, amassing over 300 combined wins and earning himself a spot in the Junior College Coaches Hall of Fame. At Texas he won over 500 matches in 17 seasons during which the team won 13 conference titles and make 15 trips to the NCAA tournament. Mick coached the US Women during the 1997-2000 Olympic cycle, finishing 4th overall in Sydney. He has since been at the helm at the University of Southern California we he’s won 2 national championships and made six semifinals appearances, with well over 300 total wins to run his career tally north of 1000 in NCAA Division I alone.

Mike Lingenfelter (USA)
Co-Director of the Munciana club, Mike counts four national championships, four national runner-ups, and three third place finishes to his Juniors club coaching credit. At the high school level he also led Wapahani High School to two state championships and has been awarded state Coach of the Year three times.

Bill Neville (USA)
A member of the 2012 AVCA Hall of Fame class, Bill has been a fixture of the USA national team program for decades, and even coached the Canadian national team for a while. He was an assistant coach during the 1984 Olympics when the US won it’s first gold medal. Bill served as Technical Director for USA Volleyball for much of the 1980s and developed the Coaches Accreditation Program (CAP) during that time. He has also coached collegiately at Montana State and the University of Washington.

Jim Stone (USA)
A current member of the USA Volleyball coaching staff, Jim spent 26 seasons as head coach at Ohio State where he amassed over 500 victories. His teams won 3 Big Ten titles and made 15 trips to the NCAA tournament, reaching the semifinals twice. He earned AVCA Regional Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year four times. His former players include two AVCA Players of the Year and 19 All-Americans. With the USA program, Jim has head coached the Youth National Team at the likes of the NORCECA Championships and World Championships over the last several years. He was also an assistant coach with the Senior Women’s National Team during the FIVB Grand Prix in 20012.

Tom Tait (USA)
A member of the inaugural 2003 AVCA Hall of Fame induction class, Tom is the founder of the Penn State volleyball program. He started with women’s club team in 1974, then started the men’s program in 1976 and coached them until 1989. His teams made 6 NCAA tournament appearances and were runner-up in 1982 to UCLA. Tom was the 1986 Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year, was five times the Eastern Collegiate Coach of the Year, and earned Coach Emeritus status from the EIVA in 1990. On the international stage, he head coached the U.S. Olympic Festival team and was the 1982 Junior National Team assistant for the Pacific Rim Championships, mentored the 1983 World University Games team, and assisted at the 1983 Pan American Games.

One of the luminary coaches added

Quiet day today as Mark is getting ready for the start of the German championship finals (best of 7 series) and John is buckling down on his PhD research. Time enough to report the most significant commitment to the list of Volleyball Coaching Wizards interviewees, though. You speak to a lot of coaches out there and they will cite him as something they consider a major influence on volleyball coaching.

We also get to add to the list an extremely accomplished coach most folks have never heard of, which is exactly part of what this project is about. That brings the committed tally up to 11 after only a couple of days of reaching out to nominees.

Carl McGown (USA)
A 2010 AVCA Hall of Fame inductee, Carl is widely considered one of the world’s best coaches and a key proponent of motor learning in volleyball. His coaching experience dates back to being assistant coach for the US team at the 1970 World Championships. He was head coach for the US men from 1973 to 1976 and technical advisor to the program in 1980. Since then, McGown has mentored teams in seven different Olympic Games and has also coached the National Team in seven different World Championships, including 1974, ’82, ’86, ’90, ’94, ’98 and ’02. Carl was the first coach in Brigham Young University men’s volleyball history and over 13 seasons he compiled a career record of 225-137, with two NCAA titles – twice garnering Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year honors. Carl’s most recent head coaching experience was in the 2007-08 Swiss A League, where he led LUC to the regular season title, the Coppe Suisse Championship and the Swiss League Championship.

Ismo Peltoarvo (Sweden)
The nomination we got for Ismo suggested he could have been acknowledged as one of the world’s great coaches if he had ventured outside Sweden, where he has stayed for family reasons. He won his first championship in the 1983-84 season and has won more than 20 other domestic and international titles since, not to mention numerous runner-up finishes. He did two stints leading the Swedish women’s national team and one with the women’s Junior national team, coached several different men’s and women’s club teams, and even took a girls’ school team to 3rd place in the 1992 World School Championships.

The next round of commitments

Yesterday we had four initial Wizards commit to being interviewed for the project. Today we more than double the list with another groups of prominent and successful coaches to the list. We’ve got multiple Hall of Famers and all three levels of NCAA volleyball covered in this group, with some national team flavor as well.

Iradge Ahrabi-Fard (USA)
A member of the inagural AVCA Hall of Fame class of 2003, Iradge spent 19 seasons at the University of Northern Iowa, accumulating over 500 victories. His teams won 10 conference championships and eight league tournament titles, made eight NCAA Tournament berths and three National Invitation Tournament appearances – including a trip to the 1993 NIVC Final Four. Iradge was named the 1999 AVCA National Coach of the Year, after guiding UNI to a 30-1 record, a No. 15 national ranking and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. He was the inaugural AVCA Excellence in Education Award winner, was voted the AVCA District Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1999, and was the conference coach of the year six times.

Teri Clemens (USA)
A 2004 AVCA Hall of Fame inductee, Teri holds the NCAA Division III record for career winning %, having gone 529-77 over 14 seasons at Washington University in St. Louis from 1985 to 1998. Her teams won seven national championships, including six in a row between 1991 and 1996. Teri was named the Tachikara/AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year three times and her 1992 squad is the only NCAA Division III Tournament team to finish a full season with a perfect record (40-0). She wasn’t too bad as a high school coach either. Over six years at St. Louis’ Incarnate Word Academy her teams accumulated a 155-15 record with three Missouri State championships.

Dietre Collins-Parker (USA)
A 2008 AVCA Hall of Fame inductee, is perhaps best known as a player. Dietre won back-to-back NCAA Division I national championships at the University of Hawaii and was as 3-time All-American. She also won the Broderick Cup Award, signifying the nation’s top female collegiate athlete, becoming the first volleyball player to ever receive that distinction. She was a member of the 1988 USA Women’s Olympic squad. Dietre began her head coaching career with eight years at the University of Nevada Las Vegas earning Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1998 after taking a dormant volleyball program and leading the Lady Rebels to a 23-8 record and a WAC tournament semifinal appearance. That was followed by five seasons at the helm of Cornell where she won or shared 3 Ivy League titles and made two trips to the NCAA tournament. Since 2009 she has been at San Diego State. In 2012 she led her Aztec squad to a 23-8 mark and a 13-3 ledger in the Mountain West as the Aztecs claimed their first-ever Mountain West title. Dietre is considered by many to be one of the great ambassadors of the sport.

Paulo Cunha (Portugal)
From 1987 to 2007 Paulo was a coaching education lecturer and course director for the Portuguese Volleyball Association and Portuguese Volleyball Federation. He coached his nation’s Junior National Team from 1986-1992. His club teams in Portugal’s 1st Division won 8 national titles, 7 Portuguese Cups, and 6 Super Cups. Paulo’s coached in 12 European Cups and in 1998 became the first Portuguese coach to reach a European cup final four. Three times he was awarded Coach of the Year by the Portuguese Association of Volleyball Coaches.

Peggy Martin (USA)
A 2009 AVCA Hall of Fame inductee, Peggy is one of only two NCAA coaches to accumulate more than 1200 victories and is the Division II leader in career wins. Most of those came at the University of Central Missouri where she had 33 consecutive winning seasons (as part of 39 total) and an overall record of 1064-281-8. Peggy’s teams won or shared 19 conference titles, reached the NCAA tournament 25 consecutive times, with six trips to the Elite 8. She has won 22 Coach of the Year awards. Peggy has been coaching the last several seasons in the NAIA at Spring Hill College continuing her impressive performance with an overall record of 168-43, with four straight undefeated conference seasons.