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.

Mark Lebedew on changing coaching philosophy

Here’s a clip from Mark Lebedew’s interview in which he talks about how his coaching philosophy has changed over the years. It’s short, but it could make you ask questions of your own philosophy.

This clip is just part of an interview which contains more than 2 hours of insight, experience, and observations from internationally and professionally experienced coach.

Learn more about Mark and how you can access his full interview here.

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.