Gonzalez Hired as Volleyball Assistant Coach

Graphic with Chris Gonzalez photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – American University has hired Chris Gonzalez as an assistant coach for its volleyball program, head coach Barry Goldberg announced Friday.

Gonzalez comes to AU with two decades of national and international experience, most recently as a volunteer assistant coach at Ohio State. He has worked with the USA national team, various international club teams and won a NCAA national title during a stint at Long Beach State.

"We're really pleased to have such an accomplished coach join our program at American," said Goldberg, who will begin his 30th year at AU this fall. "Chris has a vast amount of experience, both nationally as a champion at Long Beach State, as well as internationally, coaching in several countries throughout Europe.

"His 20-plus years of coaching experience will be a great value to our growing volleyball program. He has a strong intellect for volleyball, and I believe our team will gain great knowledge from his presence. We had the deepest candidate pool for an assistant coach since I've been here at American."

Gonzalez comes to an Eagles program that has won 15 championships in the 17 seasons American has been a member of the Patriot League, including the last five straight. He joins a staff that includes alumna Sarah Katz, who just finished her first season as a full-time assistant coach.

"I am very excited to join Barry and Sarah, and the American volleyball program," said Gonzalez. "Throughout the interview process, Barry detailed his goals for the program moving forward, and I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to help the program achieve these goals."

Gonzalez brings more than 20 years of coaching experience that includes 10 seasons at the NCAA Division I level, as well as time with the USA Women's national team, Netherlands Women's National team, Czech Republic Women's Junior National team and more than 450 matches professionally throughout Europe.

Domestically, Gonzalez has coached in the Pac-12, Big West, Big South, and Big 10 Conferences. During his time as an assistant, he has participated in four NCAA Final Fours (1997-1999 and 2001), including the first-ever undefeated NCAA National Championship while at Long Beach State University in 1998, as the 49ers finished the season a perfect 36-0. He assisted in the development of 15 NCAA All-Americans and two NCAA Players of the Year. 

During his time with the USA Women's national team, Gonzalez was an assistant for several senior national teams including the FIVB World Championship, FIVB World Cup, FIVB World Grand Prix and the NORCECA Pam American Games. 

On the professional level, Chris had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best teams and players in the world, including 15 athletes who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 

His teams have won three national championships, three Super Cups (Switzerland and Netherlands), and three National Beker Cups (Switzerland and Netherlands). In each season abroad, Gonzalez's teams qualified for CEV European Cup competition, including the CEV Champions League, CEV Cup and CEV Challenge Cup. Gonzalez is the only American-born coach to compete in all three CEV Cup competitions.

Gonzalez was born in Southern California and graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelors in communication studies. He also has conversational knowledge of five languages.