Ruben Nieves
Ruben  Nieves

3rd year

On January 28, 2005, Ruben Nieves became the sixth head coach of the Fresno State women's volleyball program.

As the first male to coach the Bulldogs, Nieves has had 15 years of intercollegiate coaching experience to go along with five years on the high school level.

As a volleyball setter, Nieves won the Block "S" award at Stanford, playing from 1980-81. He graduated from Stanford in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish (1981) and earned his master's degree from Stanford in Education in 1982.

Nieves returns to coaching after a three-year absence. He left his head coaching position at Stanford following the 2001 season to become the Manager of Trainer Development for Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University.

In 11 seasons as the men's head coach at Stanford, from 1991-2001, Nieves directed one of the nation's premier volleyball programs. He guided the Cardinal to the school's only men's volleyball NCAA championship in 1997.

With a career coaching record of 179-92 and a conference coaching record of 131-70, Nieves directed Stanford to eight Top 10 national rankings in his 11-year stint.

While his 179 coaching victories are the most in Stanford history, Nieves guided the Cardinal to two championship appearances in addition to being a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year in the same seasons (1992 and 1997).

His best season was in 1997 when Nieves guided Stanford to a 27-3 overall record and a win over UCLA in the NCAA championship match. In 1992, his second season as head coach, he led Stanford to 24 wins, which still ranks as third-most in school history, and the NCAA championship match, losing to Pepperdine in the finals.

During his tenure as head coach, Nieves coached 19 All-Americans and one AVCA National Player of the Year.

Prior to becoming the head coach, he served as the men's assistant coach for four seasons (1986-1990). The Cardinal reached the national championship match in 1989.

On the women's level, Nieves served as an assistant coach for the Stanford women's team from 1986-88 and helped the Cardinal reach the Final Four twice, including the 1987 NCAA championship match.

His international coaching experience is equally impressive. As head coach, he guided Team USA to the 2001 World University Games Gold Medal, the only men's volleyball team in United States history to win that title. He was the head of the delegation for the 2000 USA Boys Junior National Team that competed in Havana, Cuba and was an advisory staff member for the 1996 U.S. Olympic volleyball team.

A native of Santa Barbara, Calif., Nieves attended San Marcos High School. Bilingual in Spanish/English, he and wife, Annie, have an 8-year old son, Jesse. His brother, Omel, was a Bulldog basketball letterman (1982-83) and a member of the Bulldogs' 1983 NIT championship team. He is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Ruben Nieves Coaching Record and Accomplishments

Stanford Head Men's Volleyball Coach

Year Record Ntl. Rank Conf. Record Finish
1991 8-13 T8th 5-11 T4th
1992 24-4 1st 14-2 2nd
1993 18-6 2nd 16-3 1st
1994 20-9 3rd 15-4 1st
1995 18-7 6th 14-5 2nd
1996 15-8 6th 12-7 T3rd
1997 27-3 1st 16-3 1st
1998 15-8 6th 13-6 T2nd
1999 10-12 -- 7-12 5th
2000 10-13 12th 9-10 4th
2001 14-9 5th 10-7 T3rd
Total 179-92 (.661) -- 131-70 (.652) --

Head Coaching Accomplishments

  • 1997 NCAA Champions
  • 1992 NCAA National Runner-up
  • 1992 National Coach of the Year
  • 1997 National Coach of the Year
  • Coached five U.S. Olympians
  • Coached the 1993 AVCA Player of the Year
  • Coached the 1994 AVCA Freshman of the Year
  • Coached 19 AVCA All-Americans
  • Coached the 1997 NCAA Tournament MVP
  • Coached the 1993 MPSF Player of the Year
  • Coached two MPSF Freshman of the Year
  • Coached 28 All-Conference Players
  • NCAA Tournament Record (3-1)
  • 179 Career wins (Stanford Record)

    Assistant Coaching Accomplishments

  • 1986 NCAA Women's Final Four
  • 1987 NCAA Women's National Runner-up
  • 1989 NCAA Men's National Runner-up
  •  Email this article   Printer-friendly format