A group of UC Irvine alumni and fans are campaigning online for David Kniffin to become the Anteaters’ next head coach.
An anonymous UC Irvine volleyball alumnus recently created the website hirekniffin.com, which is encouraging the volleyball community to contact the school’s hiring committee with endorsements for Kniffin.
Kniffin, considered one of the front-runners for the coaching vacancy, was an Anteaters assistant coach from 2006-11 before leaving the school to become an assistant coach for the Illinois women’s volleyball team last season. With the Anteaters, Kniffin helped guide the team to its first two NCAA championships in program history.
Kniffin while at UC Irvine also organized the preseason Irvine International Volleyball Tournament — the only tournament in the nation featuring a college team playing professional international teams.
The website in an open letter to the men’s volleyball hiring committee states that Kniffin’s knowledge of the game and ability to understand the players makes him an ideal coaching candidate.
“He is the type of coach you could turn to when you needed anything, knowing that he would understand,” states the website’s open letter. “David was one of the main reasons that we won our first two NCAA national championships. His ability to make the team act as one unit was the reason UC Irvine was able to continuously beat powerhouse athletic programs. He made sure that no matter what went wrong on the court, every player knew how to handle it.”
Among the former UC Irvine players to endorse Kniffin through hirekniffin.com includes All-American outside attacker Carson Clark, setter Ian Wynne and setter Anthony Spittle.
UC Irvine began a nationwide search for its next head coach in June after John Speraw resigned to become the head coach at UCLA. Speraw in 10 seasons at UC Irvine led the Anteaters to three NCAA championships, including winning the 2012 national title in May.
To view the new website hirekniffin.com, click here