Concordia women's volleyball head coach Dan Fisher was announced today as the next head coach of the women's volleyball program at the University of Pittsburgh.
Fisher replaces Toby Rens, who spent the last five seasons at Pittsburgh and recently accepted a head coaching position at Chicago State.
"It's hard to put into words how thankful I am for the last two years at Concordia," Fisher said. "I've been extremely blessed to work with a great coaching staff, school, and administrative support team."
Fisher's time at Concordia was record-breaking and the program saw success that had eluded them the previous 30 years. His two-year record at CU was 75-2 and 38-0 in the GSAC with the program's first two GSAC Championships. This past season his squad went 38-0 enroute to the school's first NAIA Women's Volleyball National Championship with a 3-1 victory over Columbia on December 1, 2012. They set school records in wins (38), wins in a row (38), and winning percentage (1.000). In 2011 Fisher took his team to the NAIA National Championship before falling in the title game. They set records in GSAC wins (18), GSAC winning percentage (1.000), and winning streak (36), before breaking it a year later. The Eagles were ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history.
"We are of course sorry to lose coach Fisher, but know he is an outstanding Christian leader and one of the rising stars of the volleyball world," Concordia Athletic Director Dave Bireline said. "I wish him all the success at Pittsburgh and thank him for all his contributions to our university and athletic department."
Fisher coached six NAIA All-Americans, seven All-GSAC selections, five NAIA & GSAC Scholar-Athletes, five NAIA All-Tournament selections, one Capital One Academic All-American, an NAIA Player of the Year, and a two-time GSAC Player of the Year. Fisher was voted the 2011 NAIA & GSAC Coach of the Year and 2012 NAIA All-Tournament Coach, the first Concordia coach to earn any of those awards. In the summer of 2012 he was an assistant coach with U.S. Women's Volleyball National Team at the Pan American Cup. He ranks third all-time in wins at Concordia and holds the highest winning percentage at .970.
"I want to give a special thank you to President Kurt Krueger, Provost Mary Scott, Vice President Gary McDaniel, and Athletic Director Dave Bireline for giving me the opportunity and support throughout the last two seasons," Fisher said. "Volleyball is extremely valued at Concordia, and while I am sad to go, I'm confident the future is bright for the program."
Fisher played for nearly a decade at a variety of elite levels before becoming the top assistant coach in 2004 at his alma mater, D-I power University of Pacific.
"It became clear to me throughout the interview process what a special place Pitt is," Fisher told Pittsburgh Sports Information. "From my wife and my daughter, we are all excited to make this move. I want to thank Steve Pederson and Donna Sanft for the work they did to make us feel at home."
He then moved on to D-I programs University of San Francisco (2007-09) and Hawaii (2009-11), where he served as Associate Head Coach for the women's and men's programs, respectively, gaining valuable experience in preparation of his first head coaching position.
Fisher played his final two collegiate seasons, 1998-99 at Pacific, where he is currently fourth on the all-time charts with 3,007 career assists--highest in school history among two-year players--as a standout setter and team captain.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are currently members of the Big East Conference, but are set to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in July of 2013. The volleyball team went 17-14 and 7-8 in the Big East in 2012. They lost to Marquette in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
The search for Concordia's ninth women's volleyball coach will begin immediately.