Armen Zakarian has joined the UC Irvine men's volleyball staff as an assistant coach.
"In Armen's words, he 'is coming to UC Irvine to build something.' That is a bold statement considering the recent competitive successes of the program," UCI head coach David Kniffin said in a press release. "That vision, passion and resistance to settling for 'good enough' is a cornerstone of our culture and I am grateful to have him join us as we forge ahead."
Zakarian comes to UCI after serving three seasons as the men's volleyball head coach at Santa Barbara City College. In 2011, he was named Western State Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Vaqueros to a second-place finish in the Western State Conference and a regional playoff berth. Under Zakarian, 11 players earned all-conference distinction and eight players transferred to Division I-II programs.
He served as the associate head coach for the SBCC women's volleyball team for the last three years. The squad captured two WSC North titles, including 2012 with a perfect 10-0 record. While working with the women's program, the team went 27-3 in conference matches.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with UC Irvine men's volleyball," Zakarian said in the press release. "The culture, created here over time, breeds competitive greatness and student-athlete success. The players, coaches, fans, as well as the administration all have played a major part in the overall success of the program. I truly feel we have yet to see the best that the Anteaters have to offer, and I am eager to begin that process."
Zakarian played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara for two seasons (2005-07). As a senior, he helped the Gauchos to a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament semifinal berth and a No. 5 national ranking. He graduated from UCSB with a degree in communications in 2007 and went on to earn his Masters in Kinesiology from Sacramento State in 2013. He was a volunteer assistant coach for the Hornets in 2008.
Prior to UCSB, Zakarian played at SBCC from 2004-05 where he was a two-time All-Western State Conference honoree. In 2005, he was named both Santa Barbara City College and Santa Barbara News-Press Athlete of the Year after helping the Vaqueros earn a conference championship and a berth in the State Final Four.
Zakarian has also worked with USA Volleyball since 2010 as a High Performance coach for youth and has been a club coach with the Santa Barbara Volleyball, SB Spikers and Northern California Volleyball Club.
UC Irvine has won the last two men's volleyball national championships and four of the last seven.
— From staff reports