Two individuals with connections to both club and high school volleyball in San Diego will join the UC San Diego coaching staff.
UC San Diego head coach Kevin Ring announced Tuesday that he hired Jon Girten and Jake Penolio to be his assistant coaches as the Tritons enter the inaugural season of Big West men’s volleyball.
“I am excited to have both Jon Girten and Jake Penolio join the staff this year,” Ring said in a statement. “Both Jon and Jake have strong ties in the volleyball community, having both played and coached here in San Diego. Their passion, energy and experience will be valuable to the team.”
Girten has been a high school coach since 2007 and led Mount Carmel to two state championships in the last four years. He also coached club volleyball with the Seaside Volleyball Club and trained more than 20 players who later played college men’s volleyball.
Along with his coaching experience, Girten as a middle attacker at Palmar College was a two-time first-time all-conference selection.
Penolio in his first year at Del Norte guided the team to the high school state semifinals last season. In addition, the former member of the coaching staff at the NAIA powerhouse Park spent the last four years coaching with the Coast Volleyball Club in San Diego.
Penolio before his coaching career helped lead Park to the NAIA national championship 2009 and played professional volleyball in Austria and Israel.
UC San Diego finished last season at No. 2 in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division II National Coaches Poll but did not qualify for the eight-team MPSF Tournament.
The Tritons opted to leave the MPSF to be a part of the newly formed Big West men’s volleyball conference. UC San Diego this upcoming season will be one of six former MPSF members to compete in the Big West, which will have an automatic bid for the 2018 NCAA Tournament.