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49ers’ Knipe Selected as Coach of USA National Volleyball Team

Published: April 15, 2009

CSULB men’s volleyball coach Alan Knipe will take a three-year leave of absence following the 2009 season to become the head coach of the USA Men’s Volleyball Team. Knipe will coach Team USA through the 2012 Olympics in London, England, and then return to the university for fall 2012.

“Alan has been a great asset to the university,” said Vic Cegles, CSULB’s director of athletics. “All of us in the 49er family are proud to have him represent the United States as the national volleyball team coach. We wish him the best in his pursuit of the gold and look forward to his return. Until then, we are confident that we will be able to find a talented caretaker for the program and maintain the 49er winning tradition until Alan returns in the fall of 2012.”

A 1992 CSULB graduate, Knipe is in his ninth season (14th overall) as the 49ers head coach and has compiled a 165-101 record. He has led The Beach to the NCAA Final Four twice (2004, 2008) with a runner-up finish in 2004, and he has taken the team to postseason play seven times, including a spot in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) tournament finals four of the last five seasons.

Knipe has four 20-win seasons at CSULB and was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2004 and the MPSF and Volleyball Magazine’s Coach of the Year last season. As a player, he led The Beach to back-to-back NCAA Final Four’s and the 1991 NCAA Championship.

Knipe is not new to international play. He was the head coach for the USA Men’s National Team at the 2008 Pan America Cup in Winnepeg, Canada, and he helped lead the team to a gold medal. The U.S. men’s team defeated Canada, 3-1, in the gold medal game. Additionally, he was the head coach of the 2007 USA World University Games team that won bronze in Bangkok, Thailand.

Knipe also has been the head coach and director of the USA Volleyball Development Camp since 1999 and has twice coached the USA Youth National Team. He also played for the United States National Team in 1992 and 1993.

“It is an incredible honor to have the chance to represent my country and USA Volleyball,” Knipe said. “I would like to thank Doug Beal (chief executive officer of USA Volleyball). This wouldn’t be possible without his support and confidence. I am very fortunate to work at Long Beach State and I cannot thank President Alexander, Vic Cegles, Cindy Masner and Mark Edrington enough for their support over the years and especially during these past few weeks. To accept a job like this you also have to have the support of your family, and my wife (Jennifer) has been amazing throughout this entire process.

Alan Knipe
Photo courtesy of Sports Information
Alan Knipe

“This would never be a reality if I didn’t know I could come back to the program that I have great affection for at the end of my USA contract,” Knipe continued. “The program is in a really good situation and will continue to compete at the highest level. It has a solid group of veterans coming back with a nice mix of underclassmen. The staff has also put together a nice recruiting class.

“I feel good about the direction the coaching staff will go, and there will be a lot of continuity while I’m with the national team. John Hawks, Andy Read and John Crutchfield are very important to the program’s success and they will all be staying with the program,” he added. “Vic (Cegles) and I have spoken at length regarding the hiring of the right interim coach, and I am very confident that the guys will have a great interim head coach.”