Former Loyola, Springfield coach named new MIVA commissioner

A college administrator with championship winning experience as both a volleyball player and coach will now oversee the MIVA.

The MIVA announced earlier this month that Tim O’Brien was selected as the new commissioner of the nation’s most historic college men’s volleyball conference.

“Over the course of my life, I have been involved with volleyball as a player and as a coach,” O’Brien said in statement. “The sport of volleyball means a great deal to me and it is an honor to serve the MIVA in a professional manner again. The MIVA has a rich history and is now as strong as ever as evidenced by the five NCAA titles in the past seven seasons.”

O’Brien was the Loyola head coach in 2003 and guided the Ramblers to the MIVA Tournament finals. He also spent three seasons as the head coach for the Loyola women’s volleyball team, including leading the team to the 2004 Horizon League championship and a NCAA Tournament berth.

Along with his coaching experience at Loyola, O’Brien spent six seasons as the University of Connecticut women’s volleyball associate head coach.

O’Brien started his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma matar Springfield. During his playing career, O’Brien helped lead the Pride to both the No. 1 ranking in the final 1996 Division III national coaches poll and the inaugural Molten Division III national championship in 1997.

O’Brien most recently returned to Loyola and is working as the university’s Director of Development at the John Felice Rome Center.

The MIVA was founded in 1961 and was the first college men’s volleyball conference in the nation.

The single-sport conference is comprised of eight Midwest schools in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. In addition, the MIVA is currently one of five NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball conferences in the nation that receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The MIVA with five NCAA championships since 2010 has won the most national championships of any men’s volleyball conference in the nation this decade.

O’Brien replaces Craig Barnett as the MIVA commissioner. Barnett began his commissioner tenure in 2014 and recently stepped down after being appointed as the executive director of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.