MORAGA, Calif. — Saint Mary's volleyball head coach Rob Browning announced Monday the hiring of former Penn State and professional men's volleyball player Kyle Masterson as the Gaels' new assistant coach.
Masterson has had an incredible amount of success as a professional men's volleyball player both domestically and abroad. He has played professionally in five different countries since 2010, earning a spot among statistical leaders in multiple categories in every league. He won a league championship and national cup in Denmark in 2013. He also earned medals in Sweden (2011) and Israel (2014) while playing for multiple cups in Finland (2015).
Masterson has also had success as a post-collegiate player at home. Playing in the Premier Volleyball League, Masterson won the league's gold medal with his team in 2014. He also earned three silvers in 2013, '15 and '16. He earned a silver medal in the 2011 USA Volleyball Men's Open and finished fourth in the same tournament a year later.
“We are fortunate to have Kyle on board,” said Browning. “He brings experience and expertise to our staff and team that we need and will benefit from immediately. Kyle's playing history, his coaching experience, and his passion for studying and teaching the game make him an perfect fit for Saint Mary's volleyball. We were looking for someone who will complement our staff with unique experience and perspectives, combined with the personality and character that identify us, our vision, mission, and core values.”
Masterson also has extensive coaching experience as a club volleyball coach and director. Since 2003 he has worked with the Adversity Volleyball Club in Illinois, acting as everything from nutritionist and strength coordinator to head coach and director of the club. He also worked as the lead training and recruiting coordinator with the 1st Alliance Volleyball Club out of Chicago from 2013-16.
Masterson played his collegiate volleyball at perennial power Penn State from 2003-08, making multiple NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Nittany Lions' national championship in 2008. As a sophomore he led PSU in blocks per game (1.50). As a junior he led the team in attack percentage (.556).
“I am humbled and honored to join the Saint Mary's volleyball program,” said Masterson. “The feeling you receive when you spend time on the Saint Mary's campus is one-of-a-kind. Add that to the quality of people associated with Saint Mary's and the atmosphere is unmatched. I couldn't think of a better program to begin my collegiate coaching career.”
“Neither (SMC assistant coach) Mandy (Bible) nor I knew Kyle before a good friend recommended him as a candidate,” added Browning. “From our first communications to his first visit to campus, I felt great about it. Mandy and I were immediately impressed with him. There was a dynamic with him that we knew would help us reach new heights. He complements Mandy and me in so many ways. We are fundamentally on the same page, but he also brings a fresh perspective to our staff and team that will help us look at things differently and with a critical eye.”
The Gaels made a five-win improvement last season both overall and in WCC. They return 10 letterwinners from that squad and add two versatile recruits that should contribute immediately. Tickets are on sale now for all 2017 home matches. Tickets are available on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
Kyle Masterson Bio
College Playing experience
2003-08 – Penn State
International Playing Experience
· 2014-15 Rasio Loimu, Finland (CEV and Challenge Cup)
- Top-5 in league hitting percentage (.580)
- Top-10 in blocks per matches started in league (74 total)
· 2013-14 Kfar Saba, Israel (Bronze Medal, Israeli Cup)
- No. 2 in league in blocks per set and hitting efficiency
- No. 3 in league in attack percentage
- No. 4 in league in total blocks
· 2012-13 Marienlyst, Denmark (League and Danish Cup Champions)
- All-Denmark First Team
- Lead League in Aces and Hitting %
- Arets Herrehold 2013 Dansk Volleyball Forbund award
· 2011-12 Waremme, Belgium (Best Finish in Team History)
- Led team in points, blocks and aces in Post Season
· 2010-11 Tierp, Sweden (Bronze Medal)
- No. 2 in blocks
- Top-middle in points, aces and kills
· Director, Adversity Volleyball Club, Vernon Hills, Ill. (June 2003-Present)
· Lead Training Coordinator, 1st Alliance Volleyball Club, Woodridge, Ill. (March 2013-June 2016)
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