New coach hopes to have Eagles flying

Dan Fisher has an impressive volleyball background, but he's got his share of adjustments to make going from Division I to NAIA.

August 20, 2011|By Joe Haakenson, Special to the Daily Pilot

Dan Fisher is the kind of guy who has gotten used to hitting the ground running. And coming to Concordia University as the school's new women's volleyball head coach, he's at it again.

Fisher has taken over the program from Kyle Kvasnicka, and the Eagles got their new coach a victory in their first match Thursday, sweeping Oklahoma Baptist in three games in the Cougar Classic at Azusa Pacific University. Concordia finished the season-opening tournament with two wins in three matches.

"People have been asking me, 'Are you nervous,' " Fisher said. "But I've been so busy I haven't had time to be nervous."


Now with a few days before the team's next match, Fisher can resume filling the shelves of his new office. Fisher was associate head coach for the University of Hawaii men's volleyball team, the season ending just a few months ago in the spring.

"Right when the season ended I interviewed for the job," Fisher said. "It happened pretty fast, I didn't have the full season cycle, with recruiting and everything.

"I'm moving from Hawaii and have a whole new staff. And my office had nothing in it."

Fisher, 35, has logged quite a few frequent flier miles since his college days at the University of the Pacific. He played for two years with the U.S. National Team, then played professionally in Europe, with stops in Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. He also played on the AVP Tour.

His coaching career started in Switzerland with a youth team, then continued at UOP and the University of San Francisco before he landed in Hawaii.

Why leave a Division I program like Hawaii for an NAIA school in Irvine?

"There are all kinds of factors, but it's primarily lifestyle and volleyball," Fisher said of his decision. "This job in volleyball circles is a very good job. I know people say, 'But you were in D-I,' but I'm sure if you talked to (Concordia Athletic Director) David Bireline, he'd tell you about the amount of quality applicants.

"We're in the toughest conference (Golden State Athletic Conference) in the NAIA, and it's a school that wants to win. For me personally, it's a chance to be a head coach and a chance to be close to family in Santa Barbara. It's a Lutheran school, and I'm Lutheran. There are a lot of reasons."

Since arriving, Fisher and his first-year assistants Trevor Johnson and Lindsey Campbell have taken a crash course on learning their roster.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles