Volleyball

Two-Time "National Coach of the Year" Krieger to Lead Ranger Volleyball Program

ALVA, Okla. – Call it a perfect match. For Northwestern Oklahoma State, volleyball coach Gene Krieger represented proven success. For Krieger, a young Ranger program offered a new chapter and challenge.

Director of Athletics Andy Carter announced, Tuesday, the hiring of Krieger – a two-time National Coach of the Year – as Northwestern’s new head women’s volleyball coach.

“From the very first time I spoke with Gene, I felt a tremendous sense of his energy and excitement,” Carter said. “He brings a wealth of experience and success, and we feel he is a great fit for our volleyball program and for Northwestern as a whole.

Krieger has enjoyed success at all levels. In 13 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he’s posted a record of 313-138 for an impressive .694 winning percentage. Krieger won NAIA National Coach of the Year honors at California Baptist and an NCAA Division II Coach of the Year award at Cal Poly Pomona.

In 2000, he moved into the high school ranks and has spent the past 10 years at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, Calif., winning California Coach of the Year honors last fall after leading the Wolves to a second place finish at the Class 2AA State Tournament.

 “My wife and I wanted a new adventure. Something away from Southern California,” Krieger said. “I was impressed with Andy’s vision and support of volleyball. We wanted to grow and build something, and Northwestern looks like the perfect place to do it.”

Northwestern revived its volleyball program in the fall of 2012, following a 30-year absence. The Rangers are preparing for their second year as a Great American Conference and NCAA Division II provisional member.

At King High School, Krieger posted a 210-97 record, winning league Coach of the Year in five of his 10 seasons there. From 2003 to 2006, King went unbeaten in league play, winning five-straight Ivy League titles. He added a Big VIII League title in 2011.

In a volleyball landscape dominated by private schools and scholarships, Krieger’s Wolves were giant killers. They were the only public school in an eight-team field at the 2012 California 2AA State Tournament, but advanced all the way to the title game.

Prior to King, Krieger brought similar success to four different collegiate programs.

During a two-year stop at Cal Poly Pomona, he compiled a 56-21 record. His 1990 team beat out some of the nation’s top teams to win the California Regional Championship. For his efforts, Krieger was named conference and regional coach of the year. Volleyball Monthly tabbed him as its NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.

During two stints at Cal Baptist, from 1987-88 and 1991-94, Krieger led Cal Baptist to five NAIA National Tournament appearances in six years, going 141-61 overall. That included a national runner-up finish in 1991 that earned him NAIA Coach of the Year.

Krieger is no stranger to start-up programs. In 1983 he took over a volleyball team at Western Oregon State University that had gone winless in the season prior. Under his guidance, the Wolves finished 20-15 and improved to 37-6 in 1984.

Krieger left the following year, but his recruits continued to win matches. His work laid the foundation for a WOU program that would appear in 11 of the next 15 NAIA National Tournaments.

A Warner Pacific, Krieger took over a third-year program and orchestrated a staggering turn-around. After finishing 7-14 during the 1981 season, Krieger’s 1982 squad jumped to 28 wins and took home an NCCAA National Championship.

Throughout his career, Krieger has been active on the club volleyball scene, serving as coach and director at the Riverside Volleyball Club in Rancho Valley, Calif. He’s also worked various All-American Volleyball camps across the United States and with Athletes in Action International.

Krieger’s playing days featured plenty of volleyball, but it was basketball that helped pay his way through college. He played hoops at Warner Pacific before eventually transferring to Portland State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 1980. He also earned his master’s degree at PSU, in Education.

Krieger is married to his wife Ashley and has three children, two of them college volleyball players. Son Tyler played for Cal Baptist and daughter Karlie for Cal-Santa Barbara.