LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State Athletics Director Andy Fee has announced the hiring of Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer as head coach of the women's volleyball program.
McKienzie-Fuerbringer was an All-American setter for the Beach, helping lead the program to its second national championship in 1993, and has over 20 years of coaching experience, including stints as an assistant coach at both Long Beach State and UCLA. She will be just the fifth head coach in program's 52-year history.
"We are delighted to name Joy as our head coach," said Fee. "During the hiring process, we sought input from a wide spectrum of the volleyball community along with our women's volleyball alumni, and we consistently saw how highly Joy is regarded, both at the collegiate level and beyond. Joy understands the values and mission of our department and university."
McKienzie-Fuerbringer returns to Long Beach State as head coach after serving as an assistant for two seasons from 1999-2001, helping the team to a Final Four appearance in her first year. She would later spend four seasons as an assistant coach at UCLA from 2010-14, winning a National Championship with the Bruins in 2011. McKienzie-Fuerbringer has also been a director and head coach at Mizuno Long Beach Volleyball Club for the last 22 years, and she also owns and manages The MAC Athletic Club in Carson.
"Joy is of high character and comes strongly endorsed by former student-athletes and coaches across the country," added Fee. "Her volleyball knowledge and coaching ability is well-respected by her peers, and she has experience both playing and coaching at the highest levels of Division I volleyball. Her desire and passion to lead us back to national prominence will help her hit the ground running as she puts together her staff and starts recruiting."
"I am thrilled and honored to be coming back home to my alma mater," said McKienzie-Feurbringer. "This is a dream job and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent our proud university and be a part of the great Long Beach State volleyball tradition and its supportive community.
"I want to wish Brian a happy retirement and I want to personally thank him for what he has done for me and Long Beach State. His vision, hard work and dedication built one of the top volleyball programs in the country and it now becomes our job to add to that legacy. He is undoubtedly of the best coaches in women's collegiate volleyball and it was a privilege to be coached by him and Debbie Green."
Earlier in her coaching career, McKienzie-Fuerbringer was an assistant coach with Golden West College, helping the Rustlers to a pair of state championships in 1997-98. She also served as an assistant coach for the USA Volleyball Youth National Team in 2000, winning a NORCECA gold medal. McKienzie-Fuerbringer also gained some international playing experience, spending time with Martinus Volleyball Club in Holland and Murcia Spain Volleyball Club in Spain.
Joining McKienzie-Fuerbringer on her coaching staff will be her husband, Matt Fuerbringer, who comes to Long Beach State as the Associate Head Coach. Fuerbringer was an accomplished indoor player at Stanford University, where he was a four-time All-American from 1994-97, also winning a National Championship in his senior season with the Cardinal. He then played professionally from 1998-2003, with stops in Austria, Spain, and Greece.
Following his indoor career, Fuerbringer made the successful transition to the beach, spending a decade as a professional on the sand from 2003-12. He was the AVP Rookie of the Year in 2003, won eight tournaments in his career, and reached a career-best ranking of No. 5 in the world.
As a coach, Fuerbringer spent five years at Mizuno before opening up Team Rockstar Volleyball Club in Carson, where he has been an owner, director, and coach since 2009. He spent the 2013 season as a volunteer assistant coach with the UCLA men's volleyball program, before getting his biggest coaching opportunity at the international level. Since 2013, Fuerbringer has been an assistant coach with the United States Men's National Team, winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
"What Matt brings to our staff is very special," said McKienzie-Fuebringer. "He has a great presence and motivates those around him to always want to improve. He brings years of experience from both playing professionally and coaching, and has an ability to relate and instill confidence in players. We are both excited to work with the players and want them to know we are here to help and support in every way we can."
McKienzie-Fuerbringer has a BA in liberal studies and sociology from Long Beach State, while Fuerbringer earned his BA from Stanford in 1997. The couple has two children, Charlie and Mateo, and they currently reside in Hermosa Beach.
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