Alan Knipe set to return as 49ers' head men's volleyball coach for 2013 season
Aug. 23, 2012
LONG BEACH - Alan Knipe, who served as the head coach of the United States Men's National Volleyball Team for the last four years, will officially return to his position as Long Beach State's men's volleyball head coach for the 2013 season, 49er athletic director Vic Cegles has announced.
"We are thrilled to have Coach Knipe back at Long Beach State," Cegles said. "He has already been a huge part of our program's success as both a coach and player, and he now brings invaluable experience to the position after working with the U.S. Men's National Team."
Knipe was Long Beach State's head men's volleyball coach for nine years before taking a leave of absence following the 2009 season. During his time at LBSU, Knipe compiled a 169-103 overall record. He led the 49ers to one Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title (2008) and two NCAA Championship appearances, where they made it to the finals in 2004 and the semifinals in 2008.
Knipe also took his team to the MPSF Tournament eight times in nine years and advanced to the championship match three years in a row (2004-06).
Knipe had four 20-plus win seasons at Long Beach State. He was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 2004, and the MPSF and Volleyball Magazine's Coach of the Year in 2008.
Knipe also saw much success at the helm of the U.S. Men's National Team. He recently guided the squad to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Team USA advanced to the knockout round after finishing first in Pool B, which also featured Brazil and Russia, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, respectively.
In Knipe's four years, the United States also qualified for the World League Finals three times (2009, 2011, 2012). In 2012, the U.S. Men claimed the FIVB World League silver medal, marking their second-best finish since the World League started in 1990. In addition, the Americans won the gold medal at the 2012 NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, securing their eighth-straight berth to the Olympics.
Prior to accepting the position as the head coach of the U.S. Men's Volleyball Team, Knipe had quite a bit of international experience. He was the head coach for the United States at the 2008 Pan America Cup in Winnipeg, Canada, leading the squad to a gold medal. Additionally, Knipe was the head coach of the 2007 USA World University Games team that won bronze in Bangkok, Thailand. Knipe has also been the head coach and director of the USA Volleyball Development Camp since 1999 and twice coached the USA Youth National Team.
"Coming back to Long Beach State was the plan all along, but what really can't go unmentioned is how wonderful and supportive President F. King Alexander and athletic director Vic Cegles have been of me taking time off to coach the national team," Knipe said. "I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach at the highest level and it has allowed me the chance to continue to improve. I look forward to returning to my alma mater and continuing to build on the rich tradition that is Long Beach State Men's Volleyball."
Knipe was an assistant coach (1996-2000) and player (1990-92) at Long Beach State. As a student-athlete, he was a two-time AVCA All-America selection and helped the 49ers to the NCAA title in 1991. In addition, he was a member of the 1990 squad that finished as the national runner-up. Knipe graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in communications.
Following his collegiate career, Knipe played on the U.S. National Team in 1992 and 1993, and later went on to play professionally. He was on the Bud Light 4-Man Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and won seven USA Volleyball National Open Championships with Team Paul Mitchell. In 1995, Knipe played for Spoleto in the Italian Pro League and in 1996 he played for the Zellik Club in Belgium.