LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Athletics Director Gerald Myers introduced Don Flora as the eighth volleyball coach in school history Friday morning during a news conference held at the United Spirit Arena.
"We're very pleased to welcome Don and his wife, Jeanne, and their daughters to the Tech family. We believe Don is the perfect choice to lead our program at this time," Myers said. "Don's passion for volleyball and his knowledge of the game are exciting and we look forward to our team and community getting to know him."
One of the top coaching prospects in the country, Flora arrives at Tech following a two-year stint as an assistant coach at New Mexico State where the Aggies, consistently one of the top programs nationally, compiled a 38-22 record. Flora was responsible for recruiting activities, practice instruction and game strategy and was involved in the daily development of the overall program under head coach Mike Jordan.
"My family and I are extremely excited to join the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities," Flora said. "I am humbled and honored to be part of establishing a new vision for the growth of volleyball at Texas Tech. I honestly just can't wait to get started."
Flora spent 11 seasons as the head coach (1998 – 2008) at the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, where he compiled a 242-56 record. His .820 career winning percentage ranks as the third-best mark, all-time, in the Division III ranks.
The Leopards claimed the 2001 NCAA Division III Championship which capped a 27-1 season and then the team advanced again to the national championship game in 2008. In addition to those two title match appearances, ULV advanced to the NCAA Final Four three times under Flora from 2003-05. The Leopards were just one of three programs nationally to finish ranked in the top 10 each year from 2000-08 and won nine-consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) titles with an impressive 120-4 conference record during that span.
The school's national championship run in 2001 earned Flora Division III National Coach of the Year honors by both the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Volleyball Magazine. He was also named the AVCA West Region Coach of the Year four times in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2008.
Flora coached two national players of the year in Ryan Winn (2001) and Amy Smith (2003) along with seven SCIAC Players of the Year and numerous AVCA All-America selections during his tenure.
Following his graduation from ULV in 1990 with a degree in Social Sciences, Flora returned to the school in 1993 to lead the men's volleyball program for five seasons while also assisting with the women's program under renowned volleyball coach Jim Paschal. He was promoted to the head coach of the women's team in 1998 and subsequently served as an Assistant Athletics Director/Director of Development, from 1994 through 2007. He later received his master's degree in Leadership and Management from the prominent institution.
Flora was a two-time all-conference setter on the volleyball team, played football and was a member of the Leopard tennis team during his collegiate playing career.
Well respected in the club circuit and in junior development programs in the southwest and across the nation, he maintains close relationships with a number of high-profile, elite coaches across the country. His popular, multi-faceted camps are among the nation's finest youth programs and he remains active in USA Volleyball High Performance programs.