Pepperdine hires former All-American Hakala as assistant coach

A former All-American and professional European champion will be part of the Pepperdine coaching staff this upcoming season.

Pepperdine men’s volleyball head coach Marv Dunphy announced Friday that he hired Lauri Hakala to be an assistant coach for the 2012 season.

Hakala, a native of Finland, played outside attacker for Hawai’i from 2005-07 and was named a First-Team All-American outside attacker in 2006. In addition, as a senior Hakala averaged 4.35 kills per game — the fifth best single-season average in the Warriors’ program history.


After finishing his college career, Hakala played professional volleyball in Switzerland, Belgium and Finland. Among the highlights of Hakala’s professional career included leading the Lausanne Université Club to the Swiss Cup Championship and being named the Swiss League’s Most Valuable Player.

“Lauri not only understands the game [of volleyball] well, but has a lot of passion for coaching.” Dunphy said in a statement released Friday. “He’s going to be a great source to bounce ideas off of, and really be an asset to our program.”

Pepperdine finished last season in ninth place in the MPSF and missed the conference tournament for the first time in program history.

Hakala started his coaching club volleyball in Finland while he was high school and continued to coach throughout his college and professional playing career.

This will be Hakala’s first coaching position at the college level. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, he was a volunteer assistant coach for the Swiss Men’s National Team.