• 2009 MPSF Coach of the Year
The 2017 season is former Triton player Kevin Ring's 12th as head coach of the University of California San Diego men's volleyball program. It also marks UC San Diego's 25th and final year in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), as Ring gets set to lead his Tritons into the Big West Conference in 2018. The Big West announced on May 31, 2016, that it has added men's volleyball as a sponsored sport, with UCSD joining as an associate member.
Year in and year out, Ring takes on one of the toughest challenges of any of UCSD's 23 teams, going up against national powerhouses like Stanford, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine, Pepperdine, BYU, Hawai'i and Long Beach State as one of just two NCAA Division II members of the ultra-competitive MPSF.
UCSD players have gained postseason recognition from the MPSF on 10 occasions during Ring's time in charge, led by the only two All-MPSF picks in program history in setter Phil Bannan (2011) and libero Eric Leserman (2007), who both earned spots on the second team. His student-athletes have excelled over the years in the classroom, typically ranking near the top of the 12-team conference in number of MPSF All-Academic honorees. The Tritons boasted their all-time highs of seven and eight such selections in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Six were recognized for 2015, before the program shared the league high of seven in 2016 with BYU, ahead of Stanford's six. UCSD has totaled 51 MPSF All-Academic awards under Ring's watch.
The Tritons more than doubled their win total in 2016 from the previous year. Highlights included a come-from-behind, five-set home triumph over Princeton in late January, and a straight-set victory at Concordia in March that snapped a lengthy success streak for CUI in Irvine. In the December 2015 issue of Volleyball Magazine, Ring appeared at No. 10 in a listing of the top head coaches in college men's volleyball, as voted by his peers.
In 2013, UCSD achieved its first-ever season sweep of USC, the 2012 national runner-up. The Tritons began the 2013 and 2014 campaigns with program-best placements of fourth at the annual UC Santa Barbara Asics Invitational, opening the 2013 installment by rallying from two sets down to triumph over then-fifth-ranked Lewis.
The 2012 squad finished with a 9-19 overall record and sat ninth in the MPSF with a 6-16 mark, narrowly missing its first berth in the eight-team league tournament. UCSD recorded upsets over No. 3 UCLA, No. 9 Long Beach State, No. 11 Hawai'i, No. 12 UC Santa Barbara and No. 13 CSUN. The team strung together an unprecedented five-match win streak in league play late in the season, with three coming on the road. For the second straight year, the Tritons climbed to as high as No. 11 in the AVCA national poll.
Outside hitter Carl Eberts and libero Chase Frishman earned All-MPSF honorable mention. Outside hitter Vaun Lennon was tabbed the AVCA National Player of the Week in early April, becoming the third Triton to garner that distinction in the history of the program. Additionally, six players were named MPSF All-Academic in 2012.
UCSD finished with five MPSF wins in 2011, producing upsets at defending national champion and fourth-ranked Stanford, at No. 5 UCLA, at No. 7 UC Irvine, at No. 11 Pepperdine and at home against No. 11 Hawai'i. The sweep at Stanford marked not only the Tritons' first-ever triumph at Maples Pavilion, but also snapped an 18-match home win streak for the Cardinal.
On March 24, 2011, UCSD hosted third-ranked Ohio State and took a four-set victory over the Buckeyes, who went on to win the national championship.
Bannan made his way onto the All-MPSF Second Team as a senior after becoming UCSD's all-time leader in assists and service aces. Ring also graduated middle blocker Calvin Ross, who took over as the school's career leader in blocks. Four Tritons were named MPSF All-Academic in 2011.
In 2010, the Tritons were ranked in the top 15 nationally throughout and collected six conference wins for the campaign, including two each over UCLA and Pepperdine. Bannan picked up All-MPSF honorable mention for the second straight year.
Ring led the 2009 squad to the most successful season in program history. The Tritons won a Division II-best 13 matches and nearly qualified for the MPSF Tournament, being eliminated during the final weekend of conference play. UCSD defeated several ranked teams, including a win over UCLA for the second consecutive season. The Tritons finished the year ranked No. 11 in the country and Ring was honored by his peers by being voted the MPSF Coach of the Year.
Before being elevated to the head-coaching position on June 15, 2005, Ring spent the previous nine years as an assistant for the UCSD men's squad. He served as the top assistant for Duncan McFarland in 1997 and 1998, for Jon Stevenson in 1999 and for Ron Larsen between 2000-05. Ring helped guide the Tritons to an NCAA Division III national championship in 2000.
In addition to his duties with UCSD men's volleyball, Ring was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of San Diego. He also served as an assistant coach for the Torero women's volleyball team in 2004-05.
Ring got his start at UCSD as the men's volleyball team manager from 1989-91 before playing for the Tritons for three seasons.
Ring was the full-time manager for the USA men's national team from 1991-93 and continued on as a technical advisor through 1996. He accompanied Team USA to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and the 1996 Games in Atlanta. The 1992 squad left Spain with a bronze medal.
To this day, Ring maintains strong ties to USA Volleyball, as he aided women's national team head coach Karch Kiraly and his staff in preparing Team USA for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. He helped out during the 2013 USA Volleyball Cup against Japan, and was present for various training camps in Southern California. Ring joined the team in Bangkok, Thailand, in August of 2014, to serve as an on-court assistant for its final stop of the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary rounds.
While maintaining a high level of success on the court and in the classroom, Ring and his players have kept a clear focus on giving back to the community. The Tritons have held regular volleyball clinics with Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County over the years. Ring himself traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, on May 28, 2016, to put on a volleyball clinic for region coaches at the CETYS Universidad campus there. Click here for photos.
Ring earned two degrees from UC San Diego, graduating with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry in 1996, followed by a master's in chemistry in 1998. A California native, he grew up in Oregon and played prep volleyball at Sheldon High School in Eugene.
Ring and his wife, Nicole, welcomed their first child, son Nathan, in June of 2014. They reside in La Jolla.