Brian Heffernan begins his third season with Washington State volleyball proud of his team's commitment and desire to begin the climb back to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Heffernan became the 10th volleyball coach in WSU history and continues the process of putting his unique stamp on the program. He took the reins committed to building a "flagship" collegiate volleyball program through the creation of a positive and productive environment for student-athletes. Heffernan's immediate concerns are developing consistency and building trusting relationships through competence and interactions among the players and the Cougar volleyball coaching staff.
"The student athlete experience is very important for Cougar Volleyball" said Heffernan. "One of the foundations of our philosophy is `athlete first.' Putting the athlete first runs deeper than the well-being of the athletes we coach. As a staff we want to accompany our students through the learning process and help them to grow beyond their comfort zone. Progress has been made and we are beginning to see a greater sense of athlete investment and ownership throughout our team."
Dedicated to building team chemistry and promoting an "out-work and out-prepare" program culture, Heffernan looks to bring his own brand of success to the Cougar volleyball program.
"Developing the ability to work with and for others toward common goals is a skill that will benefit each student-athlete throughout their lifetime. Through this process student-athletes realize that setting, working toward and reaching goals is among the most rewarding achievements in team sports."
Heffernan, a native of Eden, New York, earned a B.S. degree in secondary education and biological studies in 1993 from Penn State University in State College, Pa. He was a member of the Penn State men's volleyball squad from 1991-1993 and played in three NCAA men's volleyball national semi-finals with the Nittany Lions. Heffernan returned to Penn State as an assistant coach with the men's volleyball program in 1994 and helped coach the team to the 1994 NCAA Championship.
After his tenure at Penn State, Heffernan moved to California and spent two years as a volunteer assistant for the men's volleyball program at Pepperdine University. During his stint in Malibu, Heffernan founded the Renegade Volleyball Club serving as director and head coach through 1999. The club produced the 1996 Davis Festival Champions and the 1998 USAV Junior National Championship Silver Medalist. Notable Renegade athletes include NCAA All-Americans Sherisa Livingston (University of Wisconsin), Brooke Niles (UC Santa Barbara), and Brooke Rundle (UC Santa Barbara). The 2003 NCAA Division I Player of the Year, Kim Willoughby (University of Hawaii) played for Heffernan on the Asics Nova Volleyball Club in Huntington Beach, Calif., while UCLA's Krystal McFarland, a 2004 AVCA All-America third team honoree, played on both the Renegade and Asics Nova teams.
While with the Renegade club, Heffernan took advantage of other coaching opportunities, serving as an assistant coach with the USA Women's Youth National Volleyball team for the 1998 NORCECA Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and was head coach of the USA Women's Junior National Volleyball Team for the 1999 World Championships. He also volunteered as an assistant with the women's volleyball program at Cal State Los Angeles in 1998.
Heffernan continued his collegiate coaching career at the University of Minnesota in 2000, spending four seasons with the women's volleyball program; two as associate head coach after serving as an assistant his first two seasons with head coach Mike Hebert. The Golden Gophers experienced much success with Heffernan on staff, claiming the 2002 Big Ten Conference championship and reaching the 2003 NCAA Championship semi-final match. The 2002 and 2000 Minnesota teams made NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances along with a second round appearance by the 2001 squad. In addition to his coaching duties at Minnesota, Heffernan assisted Hebert and the U.S. National Team in their training for the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic.
Ever active in the development of young players, Heffernan is co-owner of Diggin'It Volleyball Camps Inc., which currently runs successful volleyball camps in Minnesota and Wyoming. Future plans include implementing camps and clinics in the state of Washington and throughout the region to foster positive Cougar experiences throughout the state.
In addition to coaching, Heffernan taught classes while at Penn State and Minnesota, along with a three-year stint at Oak Park High School in Agoura Hills, Calif., as a biology, chemistry, and global sciences teacher. He recently completed his Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota.
Coach Heffernan and his wife Carol have a two daughters, Kate (3/18/02) and Jane (1/14/04).
HOMETOWN: Eden, New York
HIGH SCHOOL: Eden Senior High, Eden, NewYork.
COLLEGE: Penn State University, 1993- Earned undergraduate degree in secondary education and biological sciences...played men's volleyball 1991-93, participating in NCAA final four 1991, 1992, 1993...team representative to Penn State Student-Athlete Advisory Board...earned academic achievement award for student-athletes 1991, 1992, and 1993...earned Master of Education degree from University of Minnesota (3/2006)
COACHING EXPERIENCE: Penn State, 1993-94 - Assistant coach for men's volleyball team which won the national championship
Pepperdine University, 1994-96 - Volunteer assistant coach for men's volleyball team
Asics Nova Volleyball Club, 2000, head coach and co-director of girls' volleyball club...2000 USAV Junior National Championship bronze medalist
Renegade Volleyball Club, 1995-99 - Founder, head coach and director of girls' volleyball club...1996 Davis Festival Champions...1998 USAV Junior National Championship silver medalist
USA Women's Youth National Volleyball Team, 1998 - Assistant coach, NORCECA Championships, Puerto Rico
USA Women's Junior National Volleyball Team, 1999 - Head coach, World Championships, Saskatoon, Canada
USA Women's Pan-Am Games Volleyball Team, 2003 - Training assistant, Pan-Am Games, Dominican Republic
University of Minnesota, 2000-2004 - Associate Head Coach...2000 NCAA Sweet 16...2001 NCAA second round...2002 NCAA Sweet 16...2003 Big Ten Champions...2003 NCAA Final Four
Diggin'It Volleyball, Inc., 2001-2004 - Co-owner of Diggin'It Volleyball Camps
Washington State University, 2004-present - Head coach...record of 5-26, 2-16 Pac-10 (9th)
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)
SPOUSE: Carol Heffernan
CHILDREN: Katie Elen (3/18/02); Jane Marion (1/14/04)