Courtesy of Buffalo Athletic Communications
BUFFALO, NY - University at Buffalo Athletic Director Danny White has announced the hiring of Reed Sunahara as head volleyball coach. Sunahara currently serves as an assistant coach for USA Volleyball and has over 15 years of Division I head coaching experience.
"We couldn't have found a better candidate than Reed for this position," said White. "He has coached some of the very best players in the world and he has also been successful in the college ranks, reaching 20 wins in 11 of his 12 seasons at Cincinnati. We are excited for him to lead our program and achieve our goals of winning championships and providing a tremendous student-athlete experience."
Sunahara has spent the last year as an assistant coach with USA National Team, traveling all around the world. The national team won the Pan American Cup to start the season and then they also qualified for the World Grand Prix, which was held in Sapporo, Japan. Team USA finished the season by winning the silver medal at the Grand Championships in Tokyo.
Sunahara is not a stranger to the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team program or the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline. He led the U.S. Women to the 2012 Pan American Cup title last summer with a squad absent of any 2012 Olympians competing against the likes of Brazil and Dominican Republic with largely their Olympic roster. The Pan Am Cup gold medal qualified the Americans into the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix where they will attempt to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive title of the premier annual event for international volleyball. Sunahara gained a familiarity with the FIVB World Grand Prix as he served as the U.S. Women's team leader during the 2010 World Grand Prix edition.
Sunahara also mentored the 2012 U.S. Girls' Youth National Volleyball Team that captured the NORCECA Girls' Youth Continental Championship and qualify for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship.
Sunahara has also been active working with other national federations and NORCECA. Last year from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, he served as a NORCECA instructor for men's and women's national team and youth programs for the Jamaica Volleyball Association. During this time period he served as an assistant coach/consultant to the Jamaica Women's National Team as it won the gold medal in the NORCECA First Round Women's World Championship Qualification Tournament and advance to the second round.
"I would like to thank Danny White, Kathy Twist and Allen Greene for this outstanding opportunity to be the head coach at Buffalo," said Sunahara. "I am excited to get back into the college game and the move to Western New York will allow me to be closer to my family. I look forward to getting to work right away and work with the student-athletes during the spring season."
Prior to his work with USA Volleyball last summer, Sunahara made a name for himself in the collegiate ranks. He compiled a 289-109 record at the University of Cincinnati from 2000 to 2011, reaching at least 20 wins in 11 of his 12 seasons and eight NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament berths. Sunahara led the Bearcats to three BIG EAST championships and three Conference USA championships. He was selected as the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2011, along with Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2001 while at Cincinnati.
Sunahara served as an assistant coach at Cincinnati from 1997 to 1999. He was the head coach at the University of Toledo in 1995-1996 after holding the assistant coach role at Toledo from 1993-1994.
Prior to Toledo, Sunahara served as assistant men's coach (1990-93) at perennial power UCLA under Al Scates, the all-time winningest volleyball coach in NCAA history. He also served as the graduate assistant at UCLA in 1987 and 1989. The Bruins won three national championships during his coaching tenure.
As a player, Sunahara helped lead UCLA to three straight national championships, including two undefeated seasons (29-0 in 1982 and 38-0 in 1984). He led the Bruins with a .399 hitting percentage in 1984 and was considered the nation's best outside hitter.
A two-time all-American, Sunahara played with Olympians Karch Kiraly, Ricci Luyties (the current head coach at UC San Diego), Doug Partie, and Dave Saunders during his career. In 1988, he went to Spain to play professionally in the Canary Islands for Cisneros Isla Verdes. He played for champion NIKE/Molten at the United States Volleyball Association national championships in 1987 and 1990.