Olympic breakdown: Players, coaches, staff with college men’s volleyball ties

College mens’ volleyball will be well represented at the 2016 Olympics in Rio — and not just on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster.

Check out all the Olympians, coaches and staff members who have ties to NCAA men’s volleyball as Olympic volleyball tournaments begin this weekend.


Matt Anderson
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Opposite
School: Penn State
College recap: Anderson in his junior season averaged 5.79 kills per game as he earned the 2008 AVCA Co-National Player of the Year and guided Penn State to a national championship. In his three seasons with the Nittany Lions, Anderson helped Penn State twice reach the NCAA Tournament finals and was a All-EIVA selection each year. He also still holds a Penn State single-season rally-scoring era record with 567 kills in his final college season. Anderson after winning the national championship in 2008 opted to forego his senior season to begin his professional career.
Team USA recap: Anderson was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2015 FIVB World Cup as the United States won the international tournament to qualify for the Olympics. He also led the United States in World League play this summer with 121 kills and 12 aces. This will be the second Olympics for Anderson, who was the youngest player on the U.S. roster for the 2012 Olympics. Anderson finished that Olympics with a team-high 70 kills. In addition, the former Penn State All-American has won the USA Volleyball Male Player of the Year the last four years.

Paul Baxter
Team: U.S. Beach Volleyball Team
Position: Coach
School: Ball State
College recap: Baxter played three seasons for Ball State and as a senior helped the Cardinals reach the 1994 NCAA Tournament semifinals. He also was one of six Ball State players to compete in the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival.


Andrea Becker
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Sports Psychologist
Schools: UC Irvine and UCLA
College recap: Becker served as an assistant coach and sports psychologist for John Speraw during the head coach’s time at UC Irvine and UCLA. UC Irvine won the 2012 NCAA championship in Becker’s first season as a member of the coaching staff.

Tom Black
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Assistant coach
School: UC San Diego and Loyola Marymount
College recap: Black in his senior season at UC San Diego earned All-MPSF honorable mention honors and set the program’s single-season record with 550 kills. The four-year member of the Tritons remains one of five players in the program’s history to have more than 1,000 career kills. Black also was named the 1996 Small College Player of the Year. He is currently the head coach of the Loyola Marymount women’s volleyball team.

Micah Christenson
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Setter
School: USC
College recap: Christenson finished his college career as a three-time All-American selection and the recipient of the Lloy Ball Award as the nation’s top setter in both 2014 and 2015. Along with being the National Newcomer of the Year, Christenson that season as a freshman helped lead the Trojans to the 2012 NCAA finals — the program’s last NCAA Tournament appearance. He also served as a co-captain for the Trojans for his final three seasons.
Team USA recap: Christenson while still in college was the starting setter for the United States as it won the 2014 FIVB World League championship. In addition, Christenson continued to be the team’s starting setter for both its gold-medal performance at the 2015 FIVB World Cup and throughout FIVB World League play this summer. He remains the youngest setter to play for the United States in an FIVB World Championship event. Christenson at 16 years old competed with the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team. In addition, the setter two years later guided the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 FIVB U21 World Championships in Rio.

Ivan Contreras
Team: Mexican Men’s National Team
Position: Assistant coach
School: Penn State
College recap: Contreras remains the Penn State record holder for career kills with 2,089 and is one of two Nittany Lions in the program’s history to have more than 600 kills in a single-season. Along with a being the 1997 AVCA National Player of the Year as a senior, Contreras was a four-time All-American and a four-time First-Team All-EIVA selection. Contreras in his freshman season also had 14 kills and seven block as Penn State upset UCLA in the 1994 NCAA Tournament finals to become the first non-West Coast team to win the NCAA championship. Penn State would advance to the NCAA Tournament in Contreras’ three remaining seasons with the team.
Team Mexico recap: Contreras helped guide Mexico to its first Olympic appearance in 48 years. Mexico, the lowest ranked team in the men’s volleyball tournament field, won a World Olympic Qualification Tournament earlier this summer to earn one of the final Olympic berths.

Marv Dunphy
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Scout coach
School: Pepperdine
College recap: Dunphy is entering his 34th season as the head coach of Pepperdine and is one of winningest coaches in college men’s volleyball history with a 602-265 career record. The Hall of Famer and three-time MPSF Coach of the Year guided the Waves to NCAA championships in four decades — 1978, 1985, 1992 and 2005. Pepperdine players under Dunphy have earned National Player of the Year honors nine times and 22 Waves have been First-Team All-American selection. Dunphy was a middle attacker for Pepperdine and three years after graduating was named the team’s new head coach in 1977.
Team USA recap: Dunphy was the head coach of the 1988 U.S. Men’s National Team that repeated as gold medalists and finished that Olympic tournament undefeated — one of two U.S. teams to achieve that feat. The United States under Dunphy was a combined 197-31, including winning the 1985 World Cup, 1986 World Championship, the 1987 Pan American Games and was the No. 1 team in the world rankings. Along with being a head coach, this will be Dunphy’s sixth consecutive Olympics on a U.S. coaching staff. Dunphy also was a finalist in 1999 for the FIVB Greatest Coach of the Century Award.

B.J. Evans
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Press Officer
College recap: Evans has covered multiple NCAA Tournaments for USA Volleyball.

Matt Fuerbringer
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Assistant coach
School: Stanford
College recap: Fuerbringer was a four-time All-American who helped lead Stanford to the 1997 NCAA championship. In addition, Fuerbringer in the finals had the match-winning block to secure the national championship for the Cardinal. Along with his college career, Fuerbringer served as a UCLA volunteer assistant coach for coach John Speraw before joining the U.S. Men’s National Team coaching staff.

Carlos Guerra
Team:
Mexican Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: Penn State
College recap: Guerra in his senior season was named a Second-Team All-American and the 2003 EIVA Player of the Year as he led Penn State to its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The two-time All-America ended his college career second in program history with both 1,835 career kills and 126 career aces. He also was in Penn State’s top 10 for career blocks with 296.
Team Mexico recap: Guerra had 14 kills and six blocks against Tunisia in the team’s final match at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in June to help Mexico win the event. The former Penn State All-American led all players at the international tournament with seven aces and was in the tournament’s top five with 46 kills. This is the first time Mexico has competed in the Olympics since it earned a berth as the host nation for the 1968 Olympics.

Tyler Hildebrand
Team: U.S. Beach Volleyball Team
Position: Coach
School: Long Beach State
College recap: Hildebrand is the Long Beach State associate head coach and helped guide the 49ers last season to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in eight years. Before coaching at his alma mater, Hildebrand was a four-year starting setter for Long Beach State from 2003-06. The setter ended his college career as a three-time All-American and was named the 2003 AVCA National Newcomer of the Year. Hildebrand in between his time setting and coaching at Long Beach State played professional beach volleyball on the AVP Tour and was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Max Holt
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Middle attacker
School: Penn State
College recap: Holt was a two-time All-American and helped Penn State win the NCAA championship in 2008. The middle attacker’s 207 career aces is the third most for any NCAA player during the rally scoring era. He also set the Penn State single-season record with 79 aces in his senior season. Along with these individual accomplishments, Holt contributed to Penn State winning the EIVA and reaching the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons.
Team USA recap: Holt was named the tournament’s Best Blocker as the United States finished the 2015 FIVB World League in third place. He also helped the United States win the 2014 FIVB World League championship and advance to the recent FIVB World League Finals earlier this year. The former Penn State All-American had a team-high 12 aces and added 15 blocks during the 2016 FIVB World League.

David Hunt
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Assistant coach
School: Pepperdine
College recap: Hunt has been an assistant coach at Pepperdine for the last seven seasons and has twice been named to the AVCA 30-Under-30 list, which recognizes the nation’s top volleyball coaches who are 30 years old or younger. Pepperdine in Hunt’s tenure on the coaching staff has been nationally ranked each season. It also narrowly missed at-larges bid to two of the last NCAA Tournaments. Along with his time at Pepperdine, Hunt served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team that finished in fourth place at the 2011 FIVB U21 World Championship in Rio.

Thomas Jaeschke
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: Loyola
College recap: Jaeschke in three seasons with Loyola guided the program to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back national championships in 2014 and 2015. Along with being a two-time MIVA Player of the Year, Jaeschke as a junior became the first MIVA player to win the AVCA National Player of the Year. Jaeschke, the 2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year, also helped Loyola become the first non-West Coast team to repeat as national champions as it beat in-state rival Lewis in a fifth-game overtime of the 2015 NCAA finals. Following that victory in the MIVAgeddon — the nickname for the NCAA finals that featured two MIVA teams — Jaeschke opted to forego his senior season and play professional volleyball.
Team USA recap: Jaeschke is the youngest player on the U.S. Olympic roster. The former Loyola All-American had 43 kills on a .375 attack percentage in FIVB World League play during the summer. He also was among the team’s leading passers with 68 excellent serve receptions.

Karch Kiraly
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Head coach
School: UCLA
College recap: Kiraly as a four-time All-American led the Bruins to a 126-5 record during his college career and won NCAA championships in 1979, 1981 and 1982. He also was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player as a junior and senior to become the first player in NCAA men’s volleyball history to earn that award in back-to-back years. The annual award presented to the top outside attacker in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball is named the Karch Kiraly Award.
Team USA recap: Kiraly helped the U.S. Men’s National Team win gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics — the nation’s first Olympic gold medals in men’s volleyball. As a beach volleyball player, he was a three-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Champion and won the gold medal at inaugural Olympic beach volleyball tournament in 1996. This is the first Olympics that Kiraly is serving as a head coach after being an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2012 Olympics.

David Lee
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Middle attacker
School: Long Beach State
College recap: Lee in his senior season was a First-Team All-American selection as Long Beach State reached the 2004 NCAA Tournament finals. The middle attacker also was twice named to an All-MPSF team. More than a decade, later Lee remains the school’s single-season record holder with 161 blocks in 2004.
Team USA recap: Lee is participating in his third Olympics and was a member of 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that won the gold medal. He also won gold medals for the United States in the 2008 and 2014 FIVB World League and was named team captain for the 2015 FIVB World Cup. Along with this honor, Lee finished with a team-high 22 blocks and added 40 kills in World League play during the summer.

Jamie Morrison
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Assistant coach
School: USC
College recap: Morrison served as an USC assistant coach in 2005. The Trojans finished that season in 11th place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the conference tournament.

Casey Patterson
Team: U.S. Men’s Beach Volleyball Team
Position: Beach volleyball player
School: BYU
College recap: Patterson as a setter and opposite helped BYU win at least 20 matches in his three seasons with the team. In addition, Patterson during his senior season in 2005 finished with a team-high 35 aces and added a 2.45 kills per game average.
Team USA recap: Patterson is making his Olympic debut after his partner Jake Gibb and him finished No. 6 in the Olympic rankings. The pair ended Olympic qualification winning one gold medal and one silver medal at events.

Reid Priddy
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: Loyola Marymount
College recap: Priddy became the first player in Loyola Marymount’s program history to earn All-American honors. In addition, Priddy finished his college career as a two-time All-American before the school disbanded its men’s volleyball program.
Team USA recap: Priddy is competing in his fourth consecutive Olympics. He was a starter on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that captured the nation’s last Olympic men’s volleyball gold medal. Priddy finished that event among the tournament leaders with 93 kills and added nine aces. In addition, the outside attacker had eight aces at the 2012 Olympics and later that year was named the USA Volleyball Male Player of the Year. Priddy missed part of this Olympic quad after tearing his ACL during the 2014 FIVB World League. However, he returned to the court for the United States this year and was among the team leaders with 53 kills in FIVB World League play.

Aaron Russell
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: Penn State
College recap: Russell was a three-time recipient of the EIVA Player of the Year and led Penn State to the NCAA Tournament semifinals in each of his four years with the team. As a senior he became the inaugural winner of the Karch Kiraly Award that is presented to the nation’s top outside attacker and was a finalist for the 2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year. The two-time All-American also finished second in Penn State’s program history with 198 career aces and fourth with 1,534 career kills.
Team USA recap: Russell was among the team’s leading scoring in its final three matches at the 2015 FIVB World Cup to help the United States win the international event and secure an Olympic berth. He also played with both the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team while in college and the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team while in high school.

Taylor Sander
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: BYU
College recap: Sander was a four-time All-American and guided BYU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances — the program’s first time to reach the NCAA Tournament in almost a decade. In addition, Sander as a junior and senior earned back-to-back MPSF Player of the Year and National Player of the Year honors. Along with leading the Cougars to MPSF championships in 2013 and 2014, Sander set the rally-scoring era program record with both 1,743 career kills and 182 aces.
Team USA recap: Sander months after finishing his college career was named the Most Valuable Player and Best Spiker as the United States won the 2014 FIVB World League championship. He also was second on the team with 95 kills in World League play this summer. In addition, Sander five years ago helped lead the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team to a fourth-place finish at the FIVB U21 World Championship in Rio — its best finish at the event in the nation’s history.

Sean Scott
Team: U.S. Beach Volleyball Team
Position: Men’s team leader
School: Hawai’i
College recap: Scott played four seasons for Hawai’i and as a senior in 1995 helped the Rainbow Warriors reach the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history. He also served as a student assistant coach a year later as Hawai’i returned to the NCAA Tournament and came within one match of winning the national championship. Scott transitioned to beach volleyball and had more than a 10-year professional career competing in multiple international and national tours. In addition, he was named the 1999 AVP Tour Rookie of the Year. Scott currently is the USA Volleyball Director of the Beach National Programs.

Erik Shoji
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Libero
School: Stanford
College recap: Shoji became the first four-time First-Team AVCA All-American in college men’s volleyball history. Along with helping Stanford win the 2010 NCAA championship, Shoji holds the NCAA rally-scoring era records for single-season digs with 447 in his freshman season and career digs with 1,402. The annual college men’s volleyball award presented to the nation’s best libero is named the Erik Shoji Award in honor of the Stanford All-American.
Team USA recap: Shoji was named the Best Libero as he helped the United States win the 2015 FIVB World Cup championship to clinch an Olympic berth. As the team’s starting libero for the last four years, Shoji led all players with 118 digs in the 2013 FIVB World League pool-play and was a part of the U.S. gold-medal run at the 2014 FIVB World League. Shoji also had both a team-high 109 digs and 126 excellent serve receptions in FIVB World League play during the summer.

Kawika Shoji
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Setter
School: Stanford
College recap: Shoji guided Stanford to the 2010 NCAA championship — the program’s first national title in almost 20 years. The setter during that senior season also was named the AVCA National Player of the Year and the Co-Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Tournament. In addition, Shoji was a two-time All-American and second in Stanford’s program history during the rally-scoring era with both 4,504 career assists and 836 career digs.
Team USA recap: Shoji serving as the team’s backup setter helped the United States win the bronze medal at the 2015 FIVB World League and reach the 2016 FIVB World League finals. He also was on the U.S. roster for the 2015 FIVB World Cup, which the United States won to earn an Olympic berth.

David Smith
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Middle attacker
School: UC Irvine
College recap: Smith earned First-Team All-American honors in his senior season as UC Irvine in 2007 under coach John Speraw won its first NCAA championship in program history. In addition, Smith in his final college season had a nation-best .559 attack percentage and had more than 300 kills. The middle attacker also earned all-conference honorable mention honors as a junior and all-conference honors as a senior.
Team USA recap: Smith is competing in his second Olympics after making the U.S. roster for the 2012 games. He helped the United States win the 2015 FIVB World Cup that secured the nation a berth in the Olympic tournament field. In FIVB World League play this summer, Smith finished in the team’s top five with 46 kills and added 10 blocks.

John Speraw
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Head coach
Schools: UCLA and UC Irvine
College recap: While serving as head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Speraw is simultaneously being the head coach for UCLA. In his third year with UCLA, the Bruins finished last season making the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade. Speraw won three NCAA champions as the head coach of UC Irvine before returning to his alma mater in 2012 to replace retired Hall of Fame coach Al Scates. Speraw as a middle attacker played four seasons for Scates in the 1990s and helped UCLA win two NCAA championships. He also was named to the 1995 NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Team USA recap: Speraw was named the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2013 and has already earned a contract extension through the 2020 Olympics. The United States under Speraw has reached the FIVB World League Finals three times, including winning the event in 2014, and won the 2015 FIVB World Cup to clinch an Olympic berth. This will be Speraw’s third Olympics as a U.S. coach. Speraw served as an assistant coach when the United States won the gold medal in 2008 and was an assistant coach for the 2012 Olympics.

Charlie Sullivan
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Scout coach
Schools: Springfield
College recap: Sullivan is entering his 20th season as the Springfield head coach with more than a .650 career winning precent and three Division III NCAA championships. He also received the 2015 USA Volleyball All-Team Great Coach Award in the Don Shondell Contemporary Division. Sullivan was among the coaches instrumental in growing college men’s volleyball at the Division III level and helping form the Division III NCAA championship that started in 2012. In addition, he coached the United States to a silver medal at the 2014 Pan American Cup.

Erik Sullivan
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Team Leader
Schools: UCLA and Texas
College recap: Sullivan as a UCLA teammate of Speraw was a two-time All-American and helped the Bruins win two national championships. He finished his college career having a school-record 25 career matches with double-digit digs and was second in the UCLA record books with 747 career digs. Sullivan after college spent eight years on the U.S Men’s National Team and competed in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. In addition, Sullivan is the head coach of the Texas women’s volleyball team.

Kevin Tillie
Team: French Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: UC Irvine
College recap: Tillie transferring to UC Irvine as a junior after two seasons at a Canadian college was a two-time All-American and won the 2012 AVCA Newcomer of the Year under Speraw. He helped lead the Anteaters to back-to-back national championships while averaging more than 3.75 kills per game in both seasons. Tillie in his senior season earned NCAA All-Tournament Team honors as UC Irvine upset BYU in the 2013 finals to become thefirst team in almost 20 years to repeat as NCAA champions.
Team France recap: Tillie had 37 kills and added two aces as France finished the 2016 FIVB World League in third place. The outside attacker was a member of the French team that won the 2015 FIVB World League championship and came off the bench in the championship match as a serving specialist. Tillie is the son of French National Team head coach Laurent Tillie.

Joe Trinsey
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Technical Coordinator
School: Stevens Tech
College recap: Trinsey in his senior season with Stevens Tech earned Division III AVCA First-Team All-American honors. The four-year member of the Ducks also ended his college career seventh in program history with 1,180 career kills and sixth with a 3.08 kills per game average.

Murphy Troy
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Opposite
School: USC
College recap: Troy in his senior season was named the 2011 AVCA National Player of the Year as he led USC to the NCAA Tournament semifinals and the No. 1 ranking in the coaches poll throughout the majority of the regular season. Along with this honor, Troy was a two-time All-American recipient and the 2011 MPSF Player of the Year. The Trojans also reached the NCAA Tournament twice in Troy’s four seasons as a starter under former coach Bill Ferguson.
Team USA recap: Troy primarily serving as a backup had 34 kills in FIVB World League play earlier this year. He also was a member of the U.S. team that won the 2015 FIVB World Cup to clinch an Olympic berth. In addition, Troy one year after graduating from USC was the third-leading score for the United States as it won the 2012 Pan American Cup.

JJ Van Niel
Team: U.S. Women’s National Team
Position: Scout coach
School: UC San Diego
College recap: Van Niel served as an UC San Diego assistant coach under head coach Kevin Ring from 2011-14. The Tritions in Van Niel’s four years with the Division II school were a combined 17-75 in MPSF play.

Giuseppe Vinci
Team: U.S. Beach Volleyball Team
Position: Consultant Coach
School: BYU
College recap: Vinci was a statistical analyst for BYU from 2008 to 2015 and helped the Cougars twice make the NCAA Tournament. He left BYU following the 2015 season to launch VolleyMetrics. This will be Vinci’s third consecutive Olympic appearance. Vinci worked with the Italian National Team that finished in fourth place at the 2008 Olympics and helped the U.S. Women’s National Team win a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Mike Wall
Team: U.S. Men’s National Team
Position: Assistant coach
School: BYU
College recap: Wall led BYU to the 2001 NCAA championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament after the team upset UCLA in the finals. The two-time All-American opposite remains the BYU rally-scoring era record holder with a career 4.86 kills per game average. Wall during his senior season in 2002 set the school’s single-season rally-scoring era record with 534 kills and a 4.90 kills per game average. Along with this playing career, Wall was an assistant coach for the Arizona State women’s volleyball team before joining the U.S. Men’s National Team coaching staff.

Tyler Widdison
Team: U.S. Beach Volleyball Team
Position: Technical Coordinator
School: BYU
College recap: Widdison was a member of BYU in the fall preseason for the 2015 season.

Fred Winters
Team: Canadian Men’s National Team
Position: Outside attacker
School: Pepperdine
College recap: Winters was a two-time All-American, including earning Second-Team All-American honors in his junior season as Pepperdine reached its second consecutive NCAA Tournament. More than two decades later, Winters remains in Pepperdine’s top 10 with both 127 aces and 1,525 career kills. This is the ninth consecutive Olympics that a former Pepperdine player has competed in the men’s volleyball tournament.
Team Canada recap: Winters has served as the team captain for Canada, which is making its first Olympic appearance since 1992. The outside attacker also had 42 kills and was among the team leaders with six aces to help Canada reach the FIVB World League Group 2 Finals earlier this summer.