JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman athletic director Allen Morgan introduced Carson-Newman's seventh volleyball coach Dan Ahiers to the media and the C-N family during a news conference Monday afternoon.
"The thing that impressed me about Dan Ahiers," Morgan said in his opening remarks. "Is that he embraced our mission and our vision as a university. He lives within a desire and commitment to excellence in Christ's Light."
Ahiers comes to Mossy Creek from Seattle University where he spent a year as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped the Redhawks place two players on the WAC All-Freshman and All-Conference teams while another – Iris Ivanis – earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors.
"I've got to thank God for giving me the chance to come to Carson-Newman," Ahiers said. "This is a fine institution with a Christ-centered background that goes with the Christian beliefs that my wife and I have."
Prior to Seattle, Ahiers spent three years at the University of California Santa Barbara coaching under the legendary Kathy Gregory. In her 38 seasons as the first head coach in UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball history, "The Queen" amassed the fifth-most wins in Division I history with a career record of 882-412 (.682), guided the Gauchos to 27 NCAA Championships, and saw her teams finished ranked among the nation's top-25 on 27 occasions.
"Kathy is my biggest mentor, she's essentially the Ken Sparks of women's volleyball," Ahiers said. "I want to teach the same things that she did – it's about mind, body and soul. You get those three things working; you'll create fine young women. We want them to be go out and be difference makers in the community."
While at UC Santa Barbara, Ahiers helped produce five All-Americans and 10 all-conference selections in his three years with the Gauchos. As recruiting coordinator, he put together a pair of classes that were recognized as being top 30 in the nation.
"I wouldn't recommend anyone more for the job," Ahiers' former head coach Gregory said. "He's one of the hardest working people I've ever met. He will outwork anyone to be successful. He's ready for the position because he has all the qualifications and necessary facets to be successful. He's a great recruiter, he's a great trainer and he's a great communicator."
Dan is married to Holli Ahiers.