Magazine lauds Kniffin, 'Eaters

UC Irvine's David Kniffin was named Coach of the Year in men's volleyball by Volleyball Magazine after guiding the Anteaters to their second straight NCAA title in his first season at the helm.

Also recognized in the publication's June edition were senior outside hitter Kevin Tillie (first-team All-American), sophomore libero Michael Brinkley and junior middle blocker Collin Mehring (second-team All-Americans) and junior middle blocker Scott Kevorken (third-team All-American).

Kniffin became only the second coach in the 44-year history of NCAA men's volleyball to coach a team to the NCAA championship in his first season. He guided the Anteaters to a 25-7 record and a second-place finish (18-6) in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

UCI became the first school to win back-to-back NCAA crowns since UCLA in 1995 and 1996.The Anteaters were ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the country in 13 of 17 weeks this season.

Kniffin, who served as an assistant coach at UCI from 2007-11, was a setter for the Anteaters in 2002 and 2003. He helped the Anteaters to the school's first No. 1 ranking and first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation postseason victory as a senior. As an assistant, he had a hand in NCAA titles in 2007 and 2009 and helped the Illinois women's program reach the NCAA final in 2011.

— From staff reports

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