April 7, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nikki Klingsporn has been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) ‘Thirty Under 30’ list. The Buckeye assistant coach is the lone Big Ten women’s team coach earning the award and one just 12 coaches in all of Division-I volleyball, men’s or womens and indoor or sand, to make the cut.
“It means a lot to me,” Klingsporn said. “I have chosen a career path that isn’t a job, but rather a passion.”
Ohio State’s volleyball gym is packed with young, rising star coaches as Susan Halverson-Maloney was a member of the 2016 AVCA ‘Thirty Under 30’ list and men’s team assistant coach Kevin Burch joins Klingsporn among this year’s select group.
“Both of my parents were high school coaches growing up and coached me for all of my sports teams,” Klingsporn said. “I had an incredible playing experience and I want to provide that same experience to our student-athletes. The reason I coach is to help develop and mentor young women.”
This award was created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport.
“The young talent in volleyball coaching is just outstanding,” Kathy DeBoer, AVCA Executive Director, said. “As exciting as these 30 award winners is the fact that almost 200 young coaches were nominated for consideration. It’s a good time to be a volleyball coach.”
Of the thirty recipients, 12 are NCAA Division I coaches, five in high school/club, four in NCAA Division III, three are NCAA Division II and Two-Year College, and there’s one each in the NAIA, NCCAA, and USCAA.
During the past two seasons in Columbus, Klingsporn has been a part of back-to-back ‘Sweet 16’ appearances for the Buckeyes advancing to the NCAA Regional Semifinals. As an All-America setter herself at Marquette University in 2010, Klingsporn has groomed Taylor Hughes into an All-America setter as well in just two seasons. The Buckeye sophomore earned Honorable Mention in the fall after also picking up All-Region and All-Big Ten accolades.
Klingsporn spent 2012-14 as an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before becoming a Buckeye. The Panthers racked up 18 victories en route to a Horizon League Tournament title and subsequent appearance in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Klingsporn and the Panthers nearly made it back-to-back conference crowns in ’14, falling in the league tourney championship match.
The Oakdale, Minn., native is no stranger to Big Ten Volleyball, playing at Wisconsin for three seasons before transferring to Marquette as a redshirt junior. At MU, Klingsporn was a two-time All-Big East setter and an honorable mention All-American her senior campaign (2010) following a 12.10 assists per set average which ranked fourth nationally. She was also a team captain in each of her two seasons with the Golden Eagles while earning academic all-league honors in all four of her eligible years.
After finishing her collegiate career, Klingsporn played for the Volleyball Club Wiesbaden in Germany, helping the team to a seventh-place finish in the Deutsche Volleyball Liga. Then, she returned to Marquette for one season as an undergraduate assistant coach, aiding the Golden Eagles to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and a win in the first round of the postseason. She trained and guided Marquette’s freshman setter, Chelsea Heier, to Big East Freshman of the Year, Region Freshman of the Year and All-American honorable mention laurels.