Aug. 6, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston reeled in Jay Van Vark from across the country, adding the former Cal State-San Marcos associate head coach to the Buckeye staff as an assistant coach. Van Vark carries a wealth of collegiate, club and USA Volleyball coaching experience with him to Columbus.
“Jay is someone I know and trust,” said Carlston. “He sees the tactics of volleyball as well as anyone in the game. His experience with USA Volleyball will be a strong asset to have on our staff and in our gym.”
Van Vark had a busy summer working with Team USA, coaching various teams and programs including rising junior Katie Mitchell and the USA Collegiate National Team in Minneapolis.
“Coach Jay’s competitive, relaxed and fun-loving coaching style helped my team keep focused and push through the long training sessions,” said Mitchell. “Off the court, he’s a family guy that cares about his student-athletes’ lives and wants to connect with each player he coaches. I had a blast playing with him this past summer and look forward to the positive impact he will make on the Ohio State Volleyball program.”
USA Volleyball Experience
2014, Coach, USA National A3 Training Program, Vernon Hills, Illinois
2014, Coach, USA Youth National A2 Invitational Team Program, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2014, Coach, USA Collegiate National Team Program, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2014, Tech Coordinator, Women’s National Team Tryout
2013, Coach and Tech Coordinator, USA Senior A2 Program (now called CNT) Dallas, Texas (coached Kaitlyn Leary)
2013, Tech Coordinator, Women’s National Team Tryout
Most recently on the collegiate level, Van Vark served as associate head coach for CSU-San Marcos in 2013 and as an assistant coach at San Diego State in 2012. He aided both programs to conference championships and postseason play. The CSUSM Cougars went 26-12 while the SDSU Aztecs won the Mountain West Conference championship for the first time in school history. Van Vark tutored two AVCA All-Americans and four All-MWC honorees while pushing San Diego State to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001.
He began his coaching career as head coach for the Iowa State men’s club team and assistant coach for the women’s team. In his playing days, Van Vark was a Cyclone as well, named the club national MVP in 1985. During his last years in college, he played semi-pro indoor with the ACCO Sportswear team for two seasons, followed by three campaigns of outdoor for East Beach as an AAA-rated beach and grass player. He has also played in five indoor USVBA Open National Championships. In the late 80s, he was a college referee and at one point was the youngest head official for the Big 8 (now the Big 12).
After moving to San Diego, he headed the Rancho Bernardo High School boys’ and girls’ volleyball programs for 10 seasons. He led the Bronco girls to their only CIF volleyball title in 1994.
Van Vark took a leave from competitive volleyball to establish a career in the software business and raise a family. He returned to the sideline as his daughter took up the sport, coaching the Epic Volleyball Club from 2006-14 and resuming his role as head coach at RBHS from 2009-11.
In addition to coaching, Van Vark is the co-founder of a successful software firm called Kick Your Apps which develops iPad and iPhone applications. He is also the author of one of the most successful volleyball statistics packages, iVolleyStats.
He and his wife, Linda, have been married for 23 years and have a daughter, Audrey (20) and a son, Jared (17).