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Coaches

Head Coach: Barry Goldberg (Pittsburgh '84)
Assistant Coach: Silvia Panak Johnson (American '01)
Volunteer Assistant Coach: Sam Danai (American '02)
Managers: Lisa Valentine (American '05); Roberto Vazquez (American '06); David Tanner (American '04)



  Barry Goldberg
Barry Goldberg
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater : Pittsburgh '84
Experience: 15th Season

One of the finest coaches in the nation, Head Coach Barry Goldberg recently completed his 14th season as the head coach of the American University volleyball team. Responsible for the strong and steady rise of the program, he has established the team as a domineering power in the Patriot League and the Northeast Region. The Eagles have qualified for the NCAA Tournament four out of the last six years and have captured two straight league titles.

The architect of a model program, Goldberg has led American to 20 or more wins in 13 of his 14 seasons at the helm. He owns an overall record of 352-136 for an incredible .721 winning percentage, which ranks him among the top-25 active collegiate coaches in the country. A three-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coach of the Year honoree and the 2001 Patriot League Coach of the Year, Goldberg has produced a Verizon Academic All-American Volleyball Player of the Year, numerous regional All-Americans, academic All-Americans and all-conference selections and alike.

Karla Kucerkova added to her status as one of the nation’s elite in 2002 when she was named the Verizon Academic All-American Volleyball Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Northeast All-Region Team. In July 2003, she became the first AU student-athlete and the first volleyball player to be named the Patriot League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
She was also selected as the Patriot League Player of the Year for the second straight year after leading the league in kills. Kucerkova has also taken ome Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors the last two years.

AU also received impressive contributions from Cutrina Biddulph, who earned Rookie of the Year honors and was named to the Northeast Region Honorable Mention Team. Biddulph was joined by three teammates on the All-Patriot League Second Team.

The Eagles captured their second straight Patriot League Title in 2002 with a perfect 14-0 record where Natacha Cornaz was named the tournament MVP. Advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, American fell in the first round to South Carolina, 3-1. In the process, the Eagles maintained the fifth-longest winning streak in the NCAA with 18 straight victories.

Natalie Hand earned Verizon Academic All-American Second Team status after joining Kucerkova on the Verizon District II Academic All-America First Team.

The 2001 season was the year for the Eagles to make a name for themselves as the newest members of the Patriot League, and they did not waste any time doing just that. The team cruised to a 14-0 record against its conference opponents and ended its season at 26-4 as Patriot League Champions and NCAA Tournament participants. The team garnered the league’s player of the year, co-rookie of the year, league championship MVP, coach of the year and scholar-athlete of the year honors while a total of five Eagles earned all-league recognition.

Kucerkova earned the Patriot League's Player of the Year, Tournament MVP and Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors while also earning Verizon All-Academic First Team honors for the season. Sabrina Vasconcelos was named the Patriot League's Co-Rookie of the Year and Goldberg collected coach of the year honors in his first season in the league.

Kucerkova and Vasconcelos were All-Patriot League First Team honorees while three others were named to the All-Patriot League Second Team.

The 2001 season held even more meaning to a program which finished the 2000 season with an identical 26-4 overall record and a 11-1 mark in CAA play. Yet with its move to the Patriot League at the end of the academic year, American was not eligible for the conference’s post-season tournament. Despite its impressive record and No. 27 ranking in the RPI, the team did not receive an NCAA Tournament bid.
The Eagles received many honors in their final season in the conference, including Goldberg’s third CAA Coach of the Year award. In addition, Ajola Berisha, the CAA Player of the Year, was selected as a regional All-American, and Judit Szekelyhidi joined her on the CAA First Team. Silvia Panak and Maria Zhuravleva were also All-CAA Second Team picks.

In 1999 the Eagles faced six NCAA Championship participants en route to an AU record .288 hitting, placing the Eagles among the top-10 hitting teams in the country. AU garnered five post-season awards on their way to their third consecutive CAA Championship match appearance, and finished the season ranked regionally for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

During the 1999 season Goldberg guided three-time All-CAA First Team selection Heather Wintermeyer to the fourth highest hitting percentage in the country (.399). During the regular-season, the Eagles combined for 14 in-season honors including Tournament MVPs, CAA Players of the Week, and All-CAA honors. AU also rode a seven-match win streak in mid-September.

In 1998, Goldberg earned his 249th career win when he led AU to their second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship title. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 14-match win streak, and posted a school-record 14-1 CAA mark. In addition, the Eagles faced three nationally-ranked foes in No. 33 Minnesota, No. 23 Louisville, and gave No. 1 Penn State a scare at the Penn State Invitational in September.

Another bright spot in Goldberg’s coaching history was the 1994 season, when Eagles compiled a 34-8 record that included an unprecedented 23-match winning streak. For the first time in Eagle history, AU competed in the post season at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. While in Kansas City, AU commanded national attention by winning two of its four matches.

Since Goldberg took over the program in 1989, the Eagles have accumulated an impressive 130-29 (.817) record in the friendly confines of Bender Arena. They have made four post-season appearances, including the 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2002 NCAA Tournaments, and the 1994 NIVC. In just 12 seasons Goldberg has coached 36 players to All-CAA teams, including 20 All-CAA First Team selections, two CAA Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) accolades and a CAA Rookie of the Year nod. In two seasons with the Patriot League, he has coached a two-time player of the year, three rookies of the year and 13 Patriot League All-League players.

Goldberg has also coached three GTE/Academic All-Americans and two American University Student-Athletes of the Year. Four of his student-athletes have twice been named Verizon District II Academic All-Americans while one has been named the Verizon Academic All-American Volleyball Player of the Year.

For the last 14 summers, Goldberg has conducted both individual and team volleyball camps at American and other locations in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 1997, he served as the United States representative along with the Tampa Bay Juniors Volleyball Club at a four-nation international camp in Europe. Elite junior national teams from Switzerland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic hosted the camps. He has also held seminars in the National Mizuno Coaching Clinic Series and serves as a voting member of the national AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Coaches poll. In 1992, Goldberg served as an instructor at the Karch Kiraly Camp, which was hosted by American at Bender Arena.

Goldberg, who was selected as the 1990, 1997, and 2000 CAA Coach of the Year and the 2001 Patriot League Coach of the Year, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in communication and rhetoric. He went on to receive his master’s in counseling education in 1986 from Pittsburgh. A standout on the court, Goldberg captained the men’s varsity volleyball team at Pittsburgh to a national ranking of 13th in 1983. From 1985-86, Goldberg was the assistant women’s volleyball coach for his alma mater. He then went on to serve as the interim head coach for the University of Pittsburgh women’s program.

Before coming to American in 1989, Goldberg continued his coaching career in the BIG EAST Conference, serving as the assistant volleyball coach at Georgetown University. He also coached the Capital Junior Volleyball Club in the District of Columbia and led the Under-18 team to a top 20 finish at the Junior National Championships. All 10 of the players he coached that year went on to receive NCAA Division I scholarships.

Goldberg and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Damascus, Md., with their daughter, Arielle, and sons, Jared and Mitchell.


 

 

 


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