An Ohio State All-American who helped lead the United States to an Olympic gold medal will become the new coach for a NCAA Division III men’s volleyball team.
Stevenson announced last week that it hired Aldis Berzins to be the team’s head coach for the upcoming season.
Berzins was a member of the 1984 U.S. Men’s National Team that won the country’s first Olympic medal in men’s volleyball.
While in college, Berzins led the Buckeyes to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition, the outside attacker was a two-time All-American selection and was named to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
“I would like to thank President Dr. Kevin Manning, Executive Vice President Tim Campbell and in particular Director of Athletics Brett Adams for seeking me out and entrusting me to coach the young men on the Stevenson men’s volleyball team,” Berzins said in a statement. “I look forward to building on the success that the program has already had, and to share my lifelong experiences in playing and coaching volleyball to continue to grow the program.”
Stevenson advanced to the Division III NCAA Tournament semifinals last season. The Mustangs in 2016 also won the Continental Volleyball Conference for the first time in their program history and finished the seaosn 26-8.
“With the success that our men’s volleyball program has enjoyed recently, it was important to us to select a coach that would keep the positive momentum going,” Adams said in a statement. “In Aldis Berzins, we have someone who has played, won and coached at the highest level, and his experience and connections in the volleyball community will make him an asset to Stevenson University and our men’s volleyball program.”
Along with his playing experience, Berzins was an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 1996 Olympics. He also currently is a member of the USA Volleyball Men’s Collegiate Volleyball Commission.
Berzins spent 2001 to 2015 serving as the Senior Director of Sports Development and Coaching Education for Special Olympics International.