B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 1, 2009) – USA Volleyball has announced that Long Beach State Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe will be the new U.S. Men’s National Team head coach for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial.
Knipe, 40, will take a leave of absence from Long Beach State, where he has been the head coach for the past nine years. Two of Knipe’s former players – David Lee and Scott Touzinsky – were members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team that won the gold medal in 2008 in Beijing. Knipe was an assistant coach when U.S. Team Captain Tom Hoff played at Long Beach State.
“Anyone who gets involved with volleyball sets their sights on being involved with the Olympic team,” Knipe said. “I don’t think that changes from your playing days to your coaching days.
“I would not have been able to take this position if I did not work at Long Beach State. They were great to work with in making this happen and giving me a leave of absence.”
Knipe takes over for Hugh McCutcheon, who guided the U.S. Men’s Team to victories at the 2008 FIVB World League and the Beijing Olympics. McCutcheon took over the U.S. Women’s Team in January.
“I am very excited to have Alan join the USA Volleyball staff and lead our men’s team toward London in 2012. This is a very big hire,” USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. “His experience and success with USAV’s national and high performance programs have been outstanding. I look for him to continue the momentum the U.S. men built in 2008.”
“I think Alan will do a great job continuing the success of the men’s program,” McCutcheon said. “He’s an excellent coach with a lot of collegiate experience that will allow a seamless and successful transition into the international arena.”
Knipe said the support he has received from former U.S. men’s team coaches was a big reason he took the position.
“The U.S. Men's National Team has an amazing fraternity of former coaches that have always been willing to help the current staff. I’ve spoken to a number of the former coaches and the guys who have been involved in previous years,” Knipe said. “They have offered their support during the transition and throughout the quad. I feel fortunate to have so many valuable resources willing to help continue the wonderful tradition that has been cultivated over many years."
Knipe’s first competition with the U.S. Men will be the Pan American Cup on June 1-7 in Colima, Mexico. The team will begin FIVB World League play on June 13-14 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Knipe has a long relationship with USA Volleyball. Most recently, he served as the head coach for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2008 Pan America Cup in Winnipeg, Canada, where it won a gold medal.
He was the head coach for the U.S. Men’s Team that won a bronze medal at the 2007 World University Games in Thailand.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with these great athletes. There is a very good and successful group coming back from the Olympics,” Knipe said. “A lot of these guys have a lot of great volleyball left in them. Plus, I worked with many of the younger players during the past two summers and they are a nice group."
Knipe has run the Southern California tryouts for USA Volleyball’s high performance department since 1999. He was an assistant coach for the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team in 1999 and has helped at high performance camps in other years.
Knipe also played on the U.S. National Team in 1992-93 and competed at World League.
Knipe is in his 17th year with the 49ers men's volleyball program, including three years as a player (1990-92) and five years as an assistant (1996-2000). Long Beach State is ranked seventh in the most recent Bison/AVCA Division I-II Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll
In his nine seasons as the head coach of the Long Beach State, Knipe has led the 49ers to one NCAA final (2004) and one semifinal appearance (2008) along with six other postseason appearances in nine years. He earned 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Coach of the Year honors and was also named 2008 Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year as Long Beach State advanced to the NCAA semifinals behind AVCA co-Player of the Year Paul Lotman.
Knipe was named the 2004 AVCA National Coach of the Year when he guided his squad to an appearance in the NCAA Championship match, where it fell to BYU.
In the 1994 and 1995 seasons, Knipe served as the head men's volleyball coach at Golden West College. In his second season, the Rustlers won the California State JC title and Knipe was named California State Coach of the Year.
Knipe played at Long Beach State from 1990-92, winning the NCAA Championship in 1991 and being named All-America in 1992. Knipe graduated from Long Beach State in 1992 with a degree in communications.
Knipe played on the Bud Light 4-Man Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and has 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.
A graduate of Huntington Beach's Marina High School in 1987, Knipe spent one year at Orange Coast College before transferring to Long Beach State.
Knipe lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., with his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons, Aidan and Evan. The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team trains at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif.