PISCATAWAY, NJ – Orlando Gonzalez has been named the interim head coach of the Rutgers volleyball program.
Gonzalez has been serving as the Scarlet Knights’ assistant coach since this spring. He takes over the reins from Ann Leonard-House, who served as Rutgers’ mentor for 11 seasons before announcing her resignation last month.
Gonzalez most recently served as the regional training center head coach and assistant director for USA Michigan Volleyball, where he guided the Runbird Elite 18U and 17U club teams. In 1998 and 2003, his 18U team won the gold medal at the East Coast Championships, hosted by Penn State. In back-to-back seasons (2002, 2003), he coached the only statewide team to qualify for the USAV Junior National Tournament in the 18-and-under age group. Over the course of his 11 years involved with the elite club, Gonzalez trained and developed 45 athletes who went on to earn scholarships to Division I schools and numerous others who played for Division II, III and NAIA programs.
On the collegiate level, Gonzalez served one year as an assistant coach at Northwood University in Midland, MI, where he was specifically responsible for drill instruction and defensive development. Prior to Northwood, Gonzalez was an assistant coach for two seasons at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and was the head equipment manager/home match coordinator at Western Michigan University in 1993. He also had two stints as a head coach on the scholastic level, beginning the first varsity program at Dakota High School in Macomb, MI, and molding the team into a conference champion by its third year (1998). In 1995, he guided Marian High School in Birmingham, MI, to the district title, regional final and a top-five ranking in the state.
Gonzalez is a three-time speaker at the annual Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association (MIVCA) Coaches Clinic (1999, 2001, 2002), and was twice the keynote volleyball speaker at the MAHPERD Clinic (2000, 2001). He was a guest apprentice coach for the NEC Professional Team (Tokyo, Japan) in 2002.
Gonzalez earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and advertising from Michigan State in 2003.
The Scarlet Knights posted a 16-10 overall record and a 4-6 mark in BIG EAST Conference play last season. Rutgers will kickoff the 2005 campaign Aug. 26-27 in Philadelphia, PA, competing at the Temple Tournament