USAV Names Coaching Staff for 2014 WJNT

By Bill Kauffman | April 16, 2014, 3:48 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 16, 2014) – USA Volleyball has announced its coaching staff for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team (WJNT) that will compete this summer in the biennial NORCECA Women’s U-20 Continental Championship July 6-14 in Guatemala.

Tom Hogan, assistant coach at the University of Denver and past assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team (2005-2008), has been selected as head coach for the team. He will be assisted by University of Michigan Assistant Coach Erin Virtue and University of Hawaii Assistant Coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos. Nate Ngo, assistant coach at University of Portland, will serve as the team’s technical coordinator.

“It is the greatest feeling in sport to represent your country, and I am honored to be selected to coach for USA once again,” Hogan said. “I would like to thank everyone at USA Volleyball for this opportunity as well as University of Denver Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes and Head DU Volleyball coach Jesse Mahoney for allowing me to represent our country at the NORCECA Championship.”

Hogan feels the assembled staff will enable the team to benefit from their coaching and playing experiences.

“As a former National Team player and now as a coach, Erin has one of the greatest offensive minds in the USA program and the NCAA,” Hogan said. “We will be in good hands with her coordinating our side-out offense, and I'm confident she will have us running on all cylinders. Robyn is not only one of the most decorated and skilled players to ever wear a USA volleyball jersey, but she is also one of the greatest leaders I have ever been around. It will be an incredible experience for these future Olympians to learn from such a legend, an experienced veteran of the USA National Team. Nate’s statistical and technical background will be instrumental in our preparation for competition, as well as analysis of our team. He is an ‘up-and-coming’ coach in the HP Pipeline and we are excited to have him onboard.”

The WJNT, comprised of athletes born in either 1996 or 1997, will be selected based on evaluations from USA Volleyball High Performance tryouts held earlier this year. The U.S. Women’s National Training Team, with 18-24 athletes, will serve as the second tryout (training period TBA) to determine which 12 players will represent the U.S. at the NORCECA Championship.

The NORCECA Women’s U-20 Continental Championship serves as a qualification event into the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U-20 World Championship. The 2013 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team, which is elevating to the WJNT age group in 2014, won the silver medal at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U-18 World Championship.

The U.S. has won the NORCECA Women’s U-20 Continental Championship four of the past five times (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010) and five times overall. In the most recent edition held in 2012, Team USA finished with the bronze medal after losing to the eventual winner, Dominican Republic, in the semifinals.

Tom Hogan
Hogan is no stranger when it comes to coaching elite teams around the world. He served as an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team that captured the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in Beijing after earning the silver medal at the 2007 FIVB World Cup.

Hogan served as head coach of the U.S. Girls’ Select A1 and A2 Volleyball Programs in 2011. The USA Select National Team earned a silver medal at the 2013 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships and a bronze medal in 2012.

Earlier in his career Hogan served as an assistant coach with the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team in 2004 and was a member of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team coaching staff that led the squad to the gold medal at the NORCECA Championships. He began his USA Volleyball coaching career in 2003 as an apprentice coach working with the U.S. Women’s National Team, the U.S. Women’s National Training Team and the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team. Hogan has coached in nearly every USA Volleyball High Performance program level at some point in his career.

Hogan joined the University of Denver coaching staff as the first assistant in 2012. The Pioneers have posted consecutive 17-13 records during his two seasons. Prior to joining the Denver staff, Hogan served as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado for three years.

Internationally, Hogan was an assistant coach for Volero Zurich in the Swiss Women’s Professional League and participated in the European Champions League.

Hogan served as the head coach of the Miami (Ohio) University national champion women’s volleyball club team in 2002, and led the team to the national final in 2001.

Erin Virtue
Virtue, who just finished her third season as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan, is a rising elite coach having earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) “30 Under 30” Award for the fourth time in 2013.

Last summer Virtue served as the associate head coach for the U.S. Girls’ Select A1 team that competed in the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships. She also served as the lead coach for the USA Volleyball High Performance Girls’ Select Holiday Camp in December 2013. Virtue was as an assistant coach for the 2011 USA Volleyball High Performance Indoor National Girls' Select A1 program.

Virtue has also competed in the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline as a setter. Shed was selected to the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team in 2004 while playing for the University of Illinois, and two years later served as a coach for the program in 2006. Before making the switch from player to coach, she trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team for a year (2005-06).

Virtue spent the 2006 season as an assistant coach at Loyola University-Chicago working with the program’s setters. She accepted a similar position at the University of Cincinnati in 2007 and remained in that position for four seasons.

Since arriving at Michigan in 2011, Virtue has helped Michigan to a 67-39 record. The Wolverines reached the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship semifinals in 2012 after a NCAA Round of 16 finish in 2011.

Robyn Ah Mow-Santos
Ah Mow-Santos was regarded as one of the top international setters in the world while playing for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team from 1999 to 2008. She was a three-time Olympian and capped her international career with the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in Beijing.

Ah Mow-Santos also played professionally overseas. She played in Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. While playing for Volero Zurich in Switzerland, she earned the Swiss League’s most valuable player award.

Ah Mow-Santos finished her third season as assistant coach for the University of Hawaii volleyball team. Under her tutelage, UH setter Mita Uiato earned three all-league recognitions and was named as an honorable mention AVCA All-American in 2012.

Ah Mow-Santos played for Coach Shoji at Hawaii from 1993-96 and was a two-time AVCA All-America First-Team selection (1995 and 1996), and a three-time all-conference performer (1994, 1995 in Big West and 1996 in WAC). In her final two seasons at Hawai‘i, she guided the team to a 66-4 combined record which included an appearance in the NCAA title match in 1996. Ah Mow-Santos was inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor in 2006 and was later inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

After her career with the Rainbow Wahine, Ah Mow-Santos was a student assistant for the team for two seasons as she continued to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

Nate Ngo
Ngo is one of the top technical coordinators in the United States, having extensive experience working with DataVolley that blends into his coaching roles. He was the technical coordinator for the U.S. Women's National Team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Pan Am Cup. He served in the same role for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team last summer at the FIVB Women’s U-20 World Championship in Brno, Czech Republic.

Additionally, Ngo was the VIS (Volleyball Information System) supervisor at various USA Volleyball events including the 2009 Women's Pan Am Cup, multiple weekends of FIVB World League in 2010 and 2011, and the NORCECA Men's Olympic Qualifier in 2012. Ngo also spent time as the technical coordinator of the SVS Post Volleyball Club in Vienna, Austria.

Earlier this spring Ngo accepted an assistant coach position with the University of Portland after having spent the past two and a half years as University of Nebraska's graduate manager. He was responsible for video breakdown and statistical analysis, while also assisting in practices. While at Nebraska, Ngo was also a head coach for VC Nebraska.

In 2010, Ngo graduated from Cal Poly, where he was a volunteer assistant coach for the Mustangs. Cal Poly claimed a Big West Conference Championship in both 2006 and 2007. Ngo was also head coach of the Cal Poly women's volleyball club team, leading the team to a 2010 NCVF DI National Championship. He was also named the NCCVL Coach of the Year in 2009.