April 7, 2010

Women's Volleyball Announces Hiring of Two Assistant Coaches

April 7, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team announced on Wednesday the hiring of two coaches to join Kathy Gregory's staff for the upcoming 2010 season.

Joining the Gauchos, who finished 22-8 last season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the 27th time, will be Jeri Estes and Dan Ahiers. Estes will be the Associate Head Coach while Ahiers will serve as the team's Assistant Coach.

Estes brings a wealth of experience and championships to UCSB, having most recently served as the Associate Head Coach for a professional women's volleyball team in Russia. Estes has won a national title in three different countries as a coach - in Russia, Switzerland and the United States - and is a two-time Olympic medalist.

"Jeri is the most experienced and qualified Associate Head Coach I've ever had the chance to work with," said Gregory, who was named the Big West's Co-Coach of the Year last season. "Being involved in two Olympic teams as well training top international players and coaching at the highest level will give us an opportunity to elevate our training to another level. His experience and training methods will allow our team to set our goals higher."

Estes was part of a Russian team that won 19 consecutive national titles, which is the most decorated club in all of volleyball, while also bringing home medals in the European Championships, the World Championships and the World Grand Prix. Collegiately, Estes has previously served as an assistant coach at Long Beach State where he helped guide the team to two Final Four appearances and one national title.

"It's a privilege to be invited by Kathy to work at this university and work with outstanding players and people," Estes said. "For UCSB to open its doors to me I feel fortunate, but it's more than good fortune to be working for a collegiate program that has a stellar reputation athletically and academically."

Dan Ahiers joins UCSB after having most recently worked with USA Volleyball and serving as a club director for the Carmel Beach Volleyball Club.

"Dan is one of the most enthusiastic coaches that will bring so much to our team," Gregory said. "He's very well organized and is excellent in computer skills and analyzing volleyball data. He will do whatever it takes to make us successful. His outgoing personality and general love for the game will make that feeling contagious for everyone around him."

Ahiers has also served as the head varsity coach at Carmel High where the squad was undefeated in league play last season.

"I am extremely humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to work with and learn from Kathy Gregory and Jeri Estes," Ahiers said. "UCSB has a great tradition of volleyball excellence and I hope to help continue that tradition."

UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.

UCSB Athletics is proud to introduce GKids - its new official kids club! GKids members will receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the new GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.