The initial group of confirmed interviewees

We are starting to lock in our Volleyball Coaching Wizards nominees for interviews. Requests have begun to go out, with positive responses already coming back from some of those we’ve contacted so far. Here’s the beginnings of the list.

Iradge Ahrabi-Fard
A member of the original AVCA Hall of Fame induction class in 2003, Iradge coached for 19 years at the University of Northern Iowa. During that time he compiled a record of 503-142 (.780) and recorded at least 20 victories in 17 of 19 years. After guiding the Panthers to a 31-1 record in 1999, and eventually reaching the NCAA Division I Tournament Sweet 16, he was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year and received the inaugural AVCA Excellence in Education Award. In 1997, he took a leave of absence to serve as a consultant for USA Volleyball and the development of its teams.

Mark Lebedew (Australia)
Yes, he’s one of the principles on the project. He has also, however, been nominated for inclusion by multiple coaches outside the project. One notably said, “…there are 3 coaches I’ve never met who I feel I’ve learned more from than any coach I HAVE met. Mark is one of them.” Mark’s coaching bio is listed here.

Jenny McDowell (USA)
As head coach at Emory University (NCAA Division III) since 1996, Jenny has amassed over 600 wins and her players have earned over 40 All-American selections, including two National Player of the Year awards. Her teams have reached the NCAA tournament 18 years in a row, making the round of 16 on 15 occasions, with four trips to the Final Four resulting in a national championship and a runner-up.

Tom Turco (USA)
As head coach of Barnstable High School for 27 seasons, Tom has won 16 Massachusetts Division 1 state titles. From 2003 to 2007 his teams won a record 110 consecutive matches. Since 1995, Barnstable has had 10 undefeated seasons and amassed a 455-18 overall record. Tom’s players have included 4 All Americans, 1 AVCA All American, and 7 Massachusetts Gatorade Players of the Year. He was selected as 2008 AVCA National Coach of the Year and the 2012 NHSCA National Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Simon Loftus (Scotland)
As the head coach and director of volleyball at Leeds Met University, Simon was at the core of the dominant UK university program. From 2007 to 2012 his men’s and women’s teams combined for six BUCS (the UK equivalent to the NCAA) national championships and five Volleyball England Student Cup titles. His women’s team had a three year undefeated run during that span. Overlapping with his time at Leeds Met, Simon was also the head coach of the Scottish Men’s National Team, leading them to the 2012 Novotel Cup which was the nation’s first-ever international championship.

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