Nieves Named Head Volleyball Coach at Fresno State
Ruben Nieves was introduced as the new Fresno State women's volleyball coach this afternoon at a press conference held at the Richiutti Academic Center.
Ruben Nieves was introduced as the new Fresno State women's volleyball coach this afternoon at a press conference held at the Richiutti Academic Center.

Jan. 28, 2005

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State athletics director Scott Johnson announced today the hiring of Ruben Nieves as the head coach of the Bulldog volleyball team.

"In Ruben, we are getting a coach who I believe can take Fresno State to a higher level," Johnson said. "While at Stanford, he proved himself

as an outstanding coach for men's and women's volleyball on a national and international level. I am very excited and pleased that Ruben has agreed to become the new Bulldog volleyball coach."

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. Stanford was ranked in the nation's Top 10 in eight of his 11 seasons as head coach. The Cardinal reached the NCAA championship match in 1992 and he was selected the AVCA National Coach of the Year on two occasions (1992 and 1997). He had a career coaching record of 179-92 and a conference coaching record of 131-70. His 179 coaching victories are the most in Stanford history.

His best season was in 1997, when he guided the Cardinal 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 guided Stanford to 24 wins, which still ranks as third-most in school history, and the NCAA championship match, losing to Pepperdine in the finals. He was selected the AVCA National Coach of the Year for his efforts.

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.

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 experience at Stanford with both the men's and women's programs will prove valuable," Johnson said. "He is a veteran head coach playing against tough competition. He brings great credibility and enthusiasm to the program. Ruben is a proven winner and a coach, who through his integrity and hard work, built a nationally prominent program. With his aggressive approach to scheduling and the contacts he has in the volleyball community, I'm sure he will provide an exciting schedule for volleyball fans throughout the Valley."

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.

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 the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to direct the Fresno State volleyball program," Nieves said. "This is a place that I believe has all the necessary ingredients to build something truly special. This job presents an exciting blend of challenge and opportunity."

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

A native of Santa Barbara, Calif., Nieves attended San Marcos High School. 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.

Nieves replaces Lindy Vivas. The Bulldogs finished the 2004 season with a 15-13 record.

Ruben Nieves Coaching Record and Accomplishments

Stanford Head Men's Volleyball Coach Year Overall National Rank Conf. Record Conf. 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 11 years 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


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