OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Aldis Berzins, an Olympic gold medal winner with the 1984 United States men's volleyball team and an All-American collegiately at Ohio State, has been named head coach of the men's volleyball program at Stevenson University, Stevenson Director of Athletics Brett Adams announced Thursday. Berzins will be the ninth head coach in program history.
"With the success that our men's volleyball program has enjoyed recently, it was important to us to select a coach that would keep the positive momentum going," said Adams. "In Aldis Berzins, we have someone who has played, won and coached at the highest level, and his experience and connections in the volleyball community will make him an asset to Stevenson University and our men's volleyball program."
"I would like to thank President Dr. Kevin Manning, Executive Vice President Tim Campbell and in particular Director of Athletics Brett Adams for seeking me out and entrusting me to coach the young men on the Stevenson men's volleyball team," said Berzins. "I look forward to building on the success that the program has already had, and to share my lifelong experiences in playing and coaching volleyball to continue to grow the program."
The Stevenson men's volleyball program reached the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship this past spring after capturing the program's first Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) title. The Mustangs finished 26-8 overall.
Berzins competed for the United States as a member of the men's volleyball team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The United States defeated Brazil to earn gold, marking the first time the U.S. had won gold in the sport. He was also the MVP of the men's national team in 1983.
Prior to starring internationally, Berzins played collegiately at Ohio State from 1975-78, leading the Buckeyes to four straight NCAA Final Four appearances, including a championship game appearance in 1977. A three-time All-Conference selection, he was the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was also a two-time All-American. Berzins was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. Berzins also has professional playing experience in Italy from 1986-92.
Berzins has also coached internationally, as he was an assistant coach on the 1996 United States women's volleyball Olympic team. Most recently, he has served as a head coach with the Maryland Volleyball Program on the club level. He is currently a member of the USA Volleyball Men's Collegiate Volleyball Commission, and served as keynote speaker at the 2008 Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship in Springfield, Mass.
From July, 2001 until December, 2015, Berzins served as Senior Director of Sports Development and Coaching Education for Special Olympics International based in Washington, D.C.
Berzins graduated from Ohio State in 1978 and completed his Master's in Computer Science from San Diego State University in 1996.
STEVENSON – Named Aldis Berzins head men's volleyball coach.
Aldis Berzins, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist, is the new head coach of Stevenson men's volleyball.