With great pride and excitement, Bronco head coach Jon Wallace announced Monday that he has hired Aaron Mansfield as an assistant coach for the Santa Clara volleyball team. The Sunnyvale, Calif. native comes to Santa Clara after working for three of the last five years at UC Santa Barbara with the men's volleyball program. He was also training with the US National team and playing on the AVP during that span as well.
"Aaron has many great qualities and there are two that really stood out to me in the process of hiring an assistant coach. Aaron is a self-made player. He has worked hard at our sport to be one of the best libero's in the country. Secondly, he has been able to learn from some of the best coaches from his time spent training with the US National team," said Wallace. "Aaron will immediately make us better in our gym training and match preparation. Aaron's experiences on the men's side in recent years fit in perfectly with what we have been doing since January with Matt Lyles coming back into our program. I believe with Matt and Aaron we will now have one of the most technical and tactical coaching staffs in the conference. I can't wait to get in the gym and get things going Aug. 8!"
"First of all, getting into coaching women's volleyball is something I have wanted to do for a long time," said Mansfield. "Having the opportunity to work with Jon and Matt is a real plus. I grew up in Northern California and Santa Clara seems like a great fit for me. Working with the Broncos, I am willing to do whatever it takes to help us get back to the NCAA tournament and to go back to the Final Four. I will work really hard to get the best student-athletes at Santa Clara. There are many good players in Northern California. It's certainly a hot bed. Continuing to reach out to different parts of the country, in the Midwest and East Coast as well as Southern California, we are excited about our prospects in recruiting nationally. I am ready and looking forward to spending a lot of time on the road and also gyms across the country to find special student-athletes. With my experiences I had playing at a high level in college and post-college, I am able to communicate those experiences pretty well. I was a student-athlete myself and I am comfortable coaching all areas, but especially defense and tactical skills."
Beginning in 2007, Mansfield trained with the USA National Team for two years. He was one of the last cuts prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the USA won the gold medal. Mansfield has also competed on the AVP since 2008 and led the AVP tour in digs in 2010. During that time, he spent two years coaching club at Manhattan Beach Surf where he led his teams to two silver medals in the 17U Open Division of Jr. Nationals. He also coached at Loyola High School where they won a CIF and state championship.
While in Santa Barbara, he also worked as the Boys Volleyball Director and as a coach of the Santa Barbara Club Team.
Mansfield played Division I volleyball at UC Santa Barbara where he was a four-year starter, three-year team captain, and in 2005, he earned All-American honors as a libero. He was selected to the All-MPSF Team all four years and is the all-time dig leader at UCSB. Mansfield ranks as UCSB's all-time digs leader with exactly 1,000, over 200 more than the next closest player. He graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology.
Mansfield is originally from Northern California where he attended and played volleyball at Homestead High School in Sunnyvale/Cupertino, Calif. He played under Roger Edwards and Jason Mansfield at Homestead High School where he helped lead the Mustangs to league championships in each of his four years on the team. He was named all-league four straight years and named the De Anza League MVP three times. He set the school record of kills in a match with 45.
While attending UCSB, Mansfield was also the head coach for Club Santa Barbara's boys 18's team from 2001-05. After graduating from UCSB he took the assistant coaching job with UCSB women's team for one season. Following that season, he was hired as the first assistant with the UCSB men's team where he spent two years working with the men's team (2005-07).
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AARON MANSFIELD
Keith Busam, teammate at UCSB
"Aaron is the most hard working, professional coach I know, whose passion for the game of volleyball shows in everything that he does. His ability to identify talent and coach it to its fullest potential is second to none. He has been a winner at every level of volleyball and I expect nothing but continued success for the Santa Clara Women's Volleyball program with Aaron on the staff.
"Santa Clara is one of the premier volleyball programs in the country and they only made themselves better with the addition of Aaron Mansfield."
Rick McLaughlin, UCSB Head Men's Volleyball Coach
"Aaron is an exceptional coach. We will miss him very much here at UCSB, but we understand that this is a great opportunity for him to get experience in the women's game. He will be a very good Head Coach at the collegiate level in the women's game down the road. I'm excited for him. Jon and Matt are getting not only a great coach, but a solid person."
Jarred Godinez, teammate at UCSB and coached him at UCSB as well
"My wife and I are happy he is joining the Santa Clara staff. He will be a welcome addition I'm sure! Aaron is arguably one of the best liberos to play in NCAA Division I men's volleyball. When the libero position was accepted back in 2000, he set the mold for the position. From there Aaron used his athletic prowess, ball control and court leadership to earn All-American. He also set the record for most career digs at UCSB, usurping prior record holder, Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Todd Rodgers.
"As a teacher of the game, Aaron excels in communication. Not all great players make great coaches because they aren't able to convey their information effectively. Aaron is able to transfer his decades of playing and coaching knowledge in a clear and understandable way. With his strong work ethic and high standards of training I'm sure his impact in the gym should be felt immediately."
Matt Lyles, Santa Clara assistant coach; played with him on the AVP Tour
(Matt and Aaron played together in an AVP Tour event in Sacramento)
"Aaron is an unbelieveable competitor. He knows the game of volleyball really well. Since he played libero at a very high level, he will bring in a defensive and passing-minded element which we need. He will bring his competitive personality into the gym as well and the women will feed off of that. As a person he is a very mellow, very personable. I am really looking forward to working with him. He will be a huge asset to our program."