COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland director of athletics Kevin Anderson has announced the hiring of Steve Aird as head coach of the Maryland volleyball program. Aird spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the Penn State women’s volleyball program, which captured the NCAA National Championship this past December.
“We would like to welcome Steve, his wife Brandy and his two children to the University of Maryland,” Anderson said. “Steve is a very accomplished coach who has been extremely successful in the Big Ten Conference and on the national stage. While at Penn State, he played an integral role in leading the Nittany Lions to back-to-back NCAA semifinal appearances and a national title.”
Just one month removed from helping guide Penn State to its sixth national title, Aird will lead the Terrapins into a new era as they join the Big Ten in the fall of 2014.
“We will rely on Steve’s experience as both a coach and a student-athlete in the Big Ten as we transition into the conference this fall,” Anderson said. “He has an outstanding reputation for developing top-level talent and he is well respected in the volleyball community.”
Aird brings more than 15 years of coaching and playing experience at the highest level of collegiate volleyball, serving as an assistant coach at three Division I programs in addition to being a two-time captain during his playing days at Penn State. In the past two seasons, Penn State players earned nine AVCA All-America accolades and 14 All-Big Ten Conference honors.
“I’d like to personally thank Kevin Anderson, Kelly Mehrtens and Lori Ebihara for the opportunity to lead the Maryland volleyball program,” Aird said. “I am so impressed with their vision and I am very excited to begin the process as we transition into the Big Ten Conference.”
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had at Penn State both as a player and a member of the staff,” Aird said. “Coach Rose has been a mentor to me and he knows how much I respect him and the program. I truly appreciate the student-athletes, fans and boosters that I’ve been fortunate to know during my time at Penn State, and I am incredibly excited to get going in College Park.”
Prior to joining the Penn State staff in 2012, Aird served as President and CMO of Complete Athlete Inc., which included such duties as marketing, corporate expansion, coach and player development, scouting and match preparation. He coached players who went on to play at several of the nation’s top Division I programs, including Stanford, Washington, Florida, Tennessee and Penn State.
Aird previously served as an assistant coach and director of operations for Penn State in 2007, recruiting and training student-athletes who went on to win National Championships in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Aird began his coaching career in 2002, when he served as an assistant at Auburn from 2002-05, before coaching as an assistant at Cincinnati from 2005-07. He played a critical role in bringing in one of Cincinnati’s recruiting classes, and developed numerous all-conference and all-america student-athletes.
Aird’s volleyball background spans far beyond the coaching realm. He is a noted clinician, having spoken at hundreds of camps and clinics across the country, in addition to going on several international tours to train and recruit. Aird has also been a featured writer for Volleyball Magazine and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Magazine.
Before entering the coaching landscape, Aird was a four-year member of the Penn State men’s volleyball team from 1997-2001. The Nittany Lions made three NCAA semifinal appearances during his career. He graduated from Penn State in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences with a focus on business law and sports management.
Aird is married to the former Brandy Wilson and they have a son named Caelan and a daughter named Mackenzie.
What They're Saying About Aird...
"He's a passionate coach with great vision for how he wants to run a program and I'm sure he'll have great success at Maryland. I think he has a good skillset and good energy and he wants to be a head coach and that's one of the things that's really important." - Russ Rose, Head Coach at Penn state
"I've known him as a player and a friend for more than 20 years and he brings a workmanlike approach whether it's supporting a player or in the office as a coach. He's a loyal guy with a high level of integrity. He also recruited for four years here in California and he's the best employee I've ever had. I'm convinced that you guys have the right guy. In my mind he's definitely one of the top young coaches in the country." - Neil Mason, Founder of TCA Volleyball and CEO of Complete Athlete Inc.
"Steve brings experience at the highest collegiate level, but also knows how to break the game down and focus on the importance of the fundamentals. His commitment to the passing game both mentally and technically has lead to the success of the offenses he has coached. He maximizes players potential by building on their strengths and pushes players to be their best. Steve is confident in his ability to "run the show"and I am excited to see what he can do as a head coach." - Christa Harmotto, former player - 2012 Olympian, All-American and NCAA National Champion