Feb. 4, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
Head Coach Tom Black completed a high-profile hire this week, bringing former UC Riverside Head Coach and two-time U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coach Ron Larsen to LMU as an assistant within the Lion volleyball program. Larsen recently completed his 17th year as an NCAA Head Coach in 2012, including his fourth at UC Riverside.
"We are thrilled to have a coach of Ron's caliber enter our program at LMU," Black said. "Ron has distinguished himself as a world class coach, having been an integral part our Men's National Team gold medal run, which is only scratching the surface of who is as a coach and a person. I am so excited for the wisdom he brings to our team and student-athletes."
Larsen, an assistant for the U.S. Men's Team in 2012, became a household name when he took over for Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon at the 2008 Olympic Games, coaching the U.S. Men's Team in their first three contests. Formerly the head coach of the UC San Diego men's volleyball team, Larsen was hired as an assistant coach for the USA Men on April 13, 2005.
Larsen coached the U.S. Men's Team to three pool play victories against Venezuela (Aug. 10; 25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 21-25, 15-10), Italy (Aug. 12; 24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21) and Bulgaria (Aug. 14; 27-29, 25-21, 25-14, 26-24) before McCutcheon returned to the team, which went on to win the Olympic gold medal for the first time since 1988.
In his four seasons at UC Riverside, Larsen coached nine All-Big West Conference performers, and the 2011 squad tied the program's Division I record for most wins in league play.
"I am honored to be given this opportunity to coach with the LMU
program," Larsen said when asked about coaching at LMU. "I have had the opportunity to watch Tom build successful programs and teams wherever he has been, including Pierce CC, USC, UCSD and now LMU."
Larsen, the 2004 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Coach of the Year, completed six seasons as the UCSD head coach prior to heading to the U.S. National Team. Larsen came to UCSD in 2000--in the school's final year of NCAA Division III affiliation--and led the Tritons to one of the most memorable seasons in the program's history. UCSD won the Molten Division III Men's Volleyball Invitational Championship that season and recorded the most wins (nine) for a Triton team in 10 seasons.
That year he also led the team to its first MPSF victory in three seasons as UCSD competed as the only Division II team and the only non-scholarship program in the nation's toughest men's volleyball conference.
The 2004 season included wins against No. 11 Penn State, No. 9 UC Irvine and No. 7 UC Santa Barbara. The win over the Gauchos marked two program firsts: defeating UCSB and giving the Tritons four victories in the MPSF, the most in school history.
Larsen came to UCSD after seven seasons at the University of Rutgers-Newark where he was the head coach of both the men's and women's programs.
Larsen began his coaching career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he led the Bears' men's volleyball team to a record of 102-29 at the club level.
He coached at Cal from 1980-84 and again from 1987-89. He also served as an assistant coach of the women's volleyball team at St. Mary's College from 1987-88 before moving on to the UC Davis in 1989.
At Davis, he served as assistant coach of the women's team for four seasons and as head coach of the men's team from 1991-93, leading the Aggies to a 65-31 record and a fifth-place finish at the 1993 national club volleyball tournament.
Larsen served as head men's and women's coach at Rutgers-Newark from 1993-99, compiling a record of 103-88 in men's volleyball and 122-96 with the women's team. The men's team was consistently ranked in the nation's top-15.
Larsen was named New Jersey Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1998 and Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Coach of the Year in 1998.
Larsen's coaching experience also includes the 1995 USA Olympic Festival, where he served as head coach of the North Men's Team and led his squad to a silver medal. He also coached the 1996 USA Boys Youth National Team, featuring the nation's top 18 high school players.
When asked about working with Black in the LMU program, Larsen stated, "The wonderful thing about coaching is that you have the unique opportunity to work and go into battle with people that you like to be with. I can think of no one I would rather coach with than Tom. I believe that I can add another pair of experienced eyes to help identify small ways in which the players and the team can improve. I am ready to get into the gym and start teaching and getting to know the players. I look forward to seeing in what ways I can help LMU continue their upward trek."
The Lions finished the 2012 season with an 18-13 overall record en route to their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2005.
- GO LIONS -