UC Irvine men's volleyball assistant coach David Kniffin has been tabbed the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Men's National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Kniffin recently completed his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Anteaters, helping UCI to a 19-12 record in 2011, including a 14-8 mark in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
UCI was ranked in the top seven of the AVCA Men's Division I-II Coaches top 15 poll the entire season, ending at No. 4 and reaching as high as No. 2 three different weeks. With Kniffin's help, the Anteaters were ranked No. 2 nationally in kills (13.81) and No. 3 in hitting percentage (.346).
Kniffin has made many contributions to the team as well as the sport of volleyball. He established a year-long mentor program at Vista Verde, a local school, where UCI volleyball players spent an hour once a week to interact and serve as role models. Kniffin created the First Serve in 2011, similar to baseball's first pitch, which honored campus and community members. He helped organize a grass tournament with USYVL, the organization's largest event of the year as well contributed to the Irvine Global Village Festival, the city of Irvine's signature annual event.
Kniffin was the founder and tournament director of the UC Irvine International Volleyball Tournament, the only professional and collegiate volleyball event in the United States.
Kniffin is also active in Nicaraga, building socially sensitive houses, referred to globally as Earthship buildings.
Kniffin was a setter on the Anteaters' 2002 and 2003 teams, quarterbacking UC Irvine to both its first No. 1 ranking and first MPSF postseason victory in 2003. He holds the UC Irvine single-season record for most assists with 1,632 in 2003.
He graduated from UCI with a degree in philosophy, earning UCI Scholar-Athlete and MPSF All-Academic honors.
Kniffin will be formally presented with his award Dec. 15 in San Antonio, Texas at the 2011 jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2011 AVCA Annual Convention.
— From staff reports
CdM's Dalton earns All-American status
Corona del Mar High senior defenseman Donald Dalton was one of six boys from Orange County making the U.S. Lacrosse All-American team.
Dalton, who is bound for Drexel University, is the third player from CdM's program to earn a spot on the team. The others are Noah Molnar, who went on to play at Lehigh University and Ryan Mix, who is at Notre Dame.
Dalton was also named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Year and he received first-team All-U.S. Lacrosse Orange County honors. Dalton led CdM (15-5) to a league title and the second round of the U.S Lacrosse Orange County Southern Section Division I playoffs.
Dalton finished with eight goals and three assists.
— From staff reports