The University of Maryland announced today that they have hired a coach who knows what it will take to win in the Big Ten. Former Penn State assistant coach Steve Aird will succeed Tim Horsmon as head volleyball coach. Aird played for Penn State’s men’s team from 1997-2000 and was part of a squad that reached the final four three times. He also competed internationally for the Canadian National team. Clearly, Aird will bring a wealth of experience and winning tradition to College Park.
In 2000, Aird served a year as a graduate assistant at Penn State before moving on to serve as an assistant coach at Davison in 2001. After a year at Davidson, he moved further south to become an assistant coach for the Auburn Tigers. During his three years in Alabama, the Tigers improved from 1-26 overall and 0-15 in the SEC to 11-16 and 6-10.
After two years as an assistant at Cincinnati, he returned to Penn State to serve as an assistant coach and Director of Volleyball Operations. That season, the Nittany Lions had four All-Americans, finished 32-2, and won the first of four straight national championships. According to Penn State’s web site, "Aird's role encompassed training student-athletes, making travel arrangements and directing summer camps. He was also involved in the recruitment and training of the student-athletes who went on to win the 2008, 2009 and 2010 NCAA National Championships."
Aird then stepped away from the collegiate world to serve as the Chief Marketing Officer for Complete Athlete Sports International and as Director of Operations for the Team Complete Athlete Volleyball Club. But the lure of collegiate volleyball and his alma mater proved too strong and he returned to work as an assistant coach with Russ Rose for the 2012 season. In his first year back with the program, the team reached the national championship game before falling to Oregon. They finished that season with 33 wins and only 3 losses. This past season, the Nittany Lions again reached the mountaintop finishing 34-2 and claiming the program’s sixth national championship.
Here’s a video of Aird’s coaching style courtesy of YouTube: