LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech University is holding a press conference, Friday, Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. (CT) to announce the hiring of Don Flora as their eight volleyball head coach in school history.
Flora has spent the past two seasons with the Aggies and helped the team to a 38-22 record while holding the top-assistant position under head coach Mike Jordan. Flora spent his tenure at NM State as the recruiting coordinator and his responsibilities to the program included directing recruiting activities, daily practice instruction with the student-athletes and involvement in daily program growth and development.
"We're all very happy for Don" Jordan said about his longtime friend getting the opportunity to further his career. "Texas Tech is getting a really good coach and an even better person to help rebuild their program. We're going to miss him and his family but they're not too far away and I'm sure we'll get a chance to see each other a lot."
The Aggies along with the University and community will miss Flora's presence off and on the court. Flora made great connections with his players, coaches and community.
"It is bittersweet to leave NM State and NM State Volleyball at this time," Flora said. "While the opportunity at Texas Tech University is a special one, my experiences and time with NM State volleyball, the players, the extended staff, the coaches, and Mike Jordan has been extremely life changing."
Before coming to NM State Flora led the University of LaVerne to be one of the most prominent programs in the country. He coached them to the 2001 NCAA Division III Championship along with five West Region titles from 2001-2008, and a NCAA Runner-up finish in 2008.
While at ULV, Flora led the team to nine consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) titles (2000-08), while reaching the NCAA Championship game in 2001 and 2008. Under his instruction, the team also made five appearances in the NCAA semifinal round in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. While coaching one of just three programs to finish ranked in the top 10 from 2000-08, Flora compiled a 242-56 record.
Flora earned the honor of being named AVCA National Coach of Year in 2001 and was named AVCA West Region Coach of the Year on four occasions, in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2008. He coached two national players of the year. The first was Ryan Winn in 2001, who was selected by Volleyball Magazine. The second was Amy Smith in 2003 and she was selected by the AVCA. He also coached seven SCIAC Players of the Year and numerous AVCA All-American athletes during his tenure as ULV's coach.
"Mike (Jordan) offered me a fantastic opportunity to come work together and with these athletes. I thank him, in particular, for all we have done together during my time here at NM State. He is great coach, and I learned a tremendous amount about volleyball," Flora said. "I know the future is very bright with the current team and the 2011 recruits joining the Aggies next year."