The AVCA top 30 volleyball coaches less than 30 years old

Three college men’s volleyball coaches were ranked among the 30 best volleyball coaches less than 30 years old.

Lewis assistant coach Andy Cole, St. Ambrose University head coach Bill Gleeson and Wentworth Institute of Technology head coach Robert Mullowney were the only college men’s coaches selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association annual list released Wednesday.

Cole is in his first season the Flyers and helped coach the Lewis women’s volleyball team in the 2010 season. Prior to coming to Lewis, Cole was an assistant coach for the Rote Raben Professional Volleyball Club from 2008-10 and a graduate assistant coach for the Loyola women’s volleyball team from 2007-08. He also was an All-MIVA player at Ohio State before graduating in 2010.

Gleeson is in his fifth season with St. Ambrose and coached the Fighting Bees to three of the last four NAIA National Tournaments. The coach also picked up his 100th career win earlier this month and has a
102-48 career record at St. Ambrose.

Mullowney split time this year coaching Wentworth, a Division III team, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy women’s volleyball team. In his second year at Wentworth, the team is 15-6 this season and has won eight its last nine matches.


This is the third year the AVCA has released this list to honor the best young coaches throughout all levels of volleyball — club, high school, college and professional. To be eligible for this award, a nominee had to be less than 30 years old in 2010.

Below is the complete list of the award winners, along with a few thoughts and observations.

General thoughts and observation
1. No complaints with any members on this list. Creating a list like this tough, and I’m sure there always going to be a few people who feel snubbed. However, the AVCA put together a pretty solid list of 30 coaches less than 30 years old.

2. This list shows if someone wants to coach volleyball it’s likely their first job would be in the women’s game instead of the men’s game. The biggest reason for this, from my point of view, is the amount of college women’s volleyball teams compared to men’s volleyball teams.

3. On a Ball State note, the Don Shondell coaching tree continues to grow. Three players with Ball State ties — Marci Peniata, Keith Schunzel and Kyle Weindel — were named to the top 30 list. Schunzel, an assistant coach at North Texas, was an All-American setter for Ball State in the mid-2000s. Weindel, an assistant coach at Ohio, also played for Ball State with Schunzel before graduating in 2003. In addition, Peniata was an assistant coach on the Ball State women’s volleyball team for three years before leaving in July to move closer to her family and become an assistant coach at St. Cloud State University.

Thirty Under 30 Award Recipients
Ashley Allen — head coach Henry M. Jackson High School
Tanya Allen — head coach Frank Phillips College
Lauren Amundson — head coach Stonehill College
Matthew Buttemore — assistant coach Bellevue University
Andy Cole — assistant coach Lewis
Matthew Cribbin — head coach Sarah Lawrence College
Casey Dale — head coach Transylvania University
Sloane Dill — head coach Lower Hudson Volleyball Association
Bill Gleeson — head coach St. Ambrose University
Anna Monsen Howle — head coach Oklahoma Baptist
Haley Janicek — head coach Austin Peay State
Joseph Lind — assistant coach Sam Houston State
Daniel Mahy — assistant coach Florida Gulf Coast University
Giovana Melo — head coach Western Nebraska Community College
Robert Mullowney — head coach U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Wentworth Institute of Technology
Shellane Ogoshi — head coach Long Island University
Coley Pawlikowski— assistant coach Northern Illinois
Marci Peniata — assistant coach St. Cloud State University
Randi Raff — assistant coach Christopher Newport University
Roberta Santos— assistant coach University of Texas at Brownsville
Barrett Schitka — head coach Kitchener-Waterloo Predators Volleyball Club
Krissy Schmidt — head coach Martin County High School
Keith Schunzel — assistant coach North Texas
Kirsta Solberg — head coach Indiana Institute of Technology
Robert St. Leger — head coach Marist High School
Lauren Steinbrecher — head coach James Madison
Erin Virtue — assistant coach Cincinnati
Kyle Weindel — assistant coach Ohio
Nick Wolf— head coach Indy Juniors Volleyball Club
Michele Zabinski — head coach De Sales University

2 Replies to “The AVCA top 30 volleyball coaches less than 30 years old”

  1. Daniel Mahy is not the Head Coach of FGCU. That would be Dave Nichols.
    And no 30 under 30 from out west? that is silly.

    There are so many I don’t know where to begin.
    Mike Gee Bishop O’Dowd HS, with plenty of USAV and HP experience.

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