March 11, 2010
LOS ANGELES - UCLA head women's volleyball coach Mike Sealy announced his coaching staff on Thursday. Dan Conners, who has been a member of the Bruins' coaching staff for the last four seasons, has been retained as an assistant, while Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer, an All-American player at Long Beach State and successful club coach, has been hired as an assistant.
"Dan has done a great job with the block defense during his four seasons at UCLA and I expect him to continue that trend for the coming seasons," Sealy said. "Joy is a well-respected player and coach and her reputation adds to the tradition and legacy we have here and only makes us stronger and better."
Conners concluded his fourth season as an assistant for the Bruin women's volleyball team in 2009. UCLA has reached the postseason all four years Conners has been on staff, including three trips to the NCAA Regionals and a berth in the National Semifinals in 2006. The Bruins have a record of 102-35 (.745 winning percentage) during Conners' tenure. During his four seasons, the Bruins have ranked first in the Pac-10 in blocks per set three times ('06, '08, '09) and have held opponents to under a .182 hitting percentage each year. Nationally, UCLA has ranked in the Top 30 in bps every season, including fifth in 2006, eighth in 2008 and ninth last year.
Conners collegiate coaching career began at Cal State Northridge, where he was the top assistant from 2004-06 and helped the Matadors to a 56-36 record. He has also served as the head coach of the West Coast Volleyball Club Boys Under-18 squad. Just prior to the 2005 women's season, he was named the interim head coach for Occidental College, an NCAA Division III program in Eagle Rock, Calif.
As a member of the UCLA men's volleyball team during his collegiate tenure, Conners played on the 2001 NCAA runner-up team as the Bruins lost to BYU in the championship match. He averaged 6.25 assists per game during that season. Following his collegiate career, Conners played professionally for the Almoradi Volleyball Club in Almoradi, Spain. As the team's setter, he led the squad to a first-place standing during the regular season and a third-place postseason tournament finish. While in Spain, Conners started his coaching career, working with an Under-16 girls team associated with the Almoradi club.
Conners earned his degree in political science from UCLA in 2001.
McKienzie-Fuerbringer brings 14 years of experience as the head coach, head trainer and club director of Mizuno Volleyball Club. The club director since the program's inception in 1994, her teams have won 14 USA Volleyball Junior National Championship medals. In 2002, she was an assistant for the Youth National Team, which won the gold medal for the U.S. in the NORCECA Youth Girls' Volleyball Championship. She has also trained over 100 high school and college All-Americans and two Gatorade Players of the Year in the last five years. McKienzie-Fuerbringer has trained youth players at the highest levels of beach volleyball in the United States and the FIVB World Championships for the last decade. In February, she accepted a position to sit on the USA Volleyball Board of Directors as its elite beach development representative.
McKienzie-Fuerbringer coached for two seasons at Long Beach State (1999-2000), helping the 49ers to a National Semifinal appearance in '99. She also coached for two seasons at Golden West College (1996-97), as Golden West claimed a pair of state championships, as well as for one season at both Long Beach Wilson and Los Alamitos High Schools.
As a player, McKienzie-Fuerbringer helped Long Beach State win a National Championship in 1993. The team captain was a second-team All-American, first-team All-Region and first-team All-Big West honoree during her senior campaign, leading the team in assists. The 49ers also reached the title game in 1991 and the National Semifinals in 1992. After her days at Long Beach, she competed for two seasons on the Bud Light 4-Person Tour and was named Rookie of the Year in 1995 and the Best Defensive Player and Best Setter of the Year in 1996. McKienzie-Fuerbringer played an additional season on the AVP Tour, as well as competing professionally in indoor leagues and coaching in Holland and Spain from 1999-2002.
McKienzie-Fuerbringer graduated from Long Beach State in 1994 with a bachelor's in liberal studies and sociology. She resides in Redondo Beach with her husband and AVP Tour player Matt, daughter Charlie and son Mateo.