March 9, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State volleyball head coach Todd Kress has announced that former Olympian Rita Buck-Crockett will join his staff as an associate head coach for the Seminoles. Buck-Crockett comes to Florida State from the University of Iowa where she served as the head coach for the past six seasons.
“Rita has been a marquee player, coach, role model and ambassador for our sport at many levels, but more importantly is a tremendous person,” head coach Todd Kress said. “I’m thrilled to have her as a part of my staff. The concept of this partnership is one that involves longevity, collaboration of strengths and a unified vision of elevating Florida State volleyball to national prominence.”
“I am very excited about the partnership of working with Coach Kress and his staff at Florida State,” said Rita Buck-Crockett. “Florida State University has a nice environment and a lot to offer. This gives them the opportunity to bring in potential big recruits and I am excited about being a part of that. There is no reason FSU can’t be a national power. It won’t happen overnight, but the student-athletes are already in place and I will help continue to bring in the best volleyball athletes.”
In her six seasons at the University of Iowa, Buck-Crockett had three all-Big Ten selections including an all-region member and an all-USA Team selection. In 2001, Buck-Crockett coached Sarah Meyermann to an AVCA Mideast all-Region selection and all-Big Ten team member. Meyermann, an outside hitter, finished the season with 578 kills to rank sixth nationally. In 2000, Buck-Crockett and her coaching staff guided the Hawkeyes to a 15-win season, the most victories of an Iowa volleyball team since 1994. Buck-Crockett coached senior setter Fabiana de Abreu to the all-Big Ten team.
As a nationally respected coach, Buck-Crockett comes to FSU with a long history of success.
“This is a move that exemplifies the commitment to establish the Florida State volleyball program as one of the nation’s elite,” said Kress.
She was a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Volleyball teams with the 1984 team winning the silver medal. Buck-Crockett was also considered one of the best all-around volleyball players in the world. A 1984 issue of Sports Illustrated touted her as the world’s best athlete and nicknamed her “The Rocket,” because of her 42-inch vertical leap and her 100 mile-per-hour kills. In 1981, she was one of six players selected to the All-World Team. She has coached and played in the U.S., Japan, Italy and Switzerland over the last 17 years.
Buck-Crockett earned AIAW All-America honors at the University of Houston prior to joining the U.S. Olympic team to train for the 1980 Olympics. In 1981, she led the U.S. to a bronze medal at the World Cup in Osaka, Japan, and in 1982, that team won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Lima, Peru.
From 1982-86, Buck-Crockett was a member of the Daiei Team in Kobe, Japan. Her 1986 Daiei squad was the champion of the Japan League. She played beach volleyball on the Women’s Professional Volleyball Association Tour from 1988-96 and played Major League Volleyball from 1986-87. Buck-Crockett was also a Major League Volleyball champion in both 1986 and 1987 and earned league MVP honors in 1986. In 1986, she teamed with Jackie Silva of Brazil to win the World Beach Volleyball Championship. The following season she was the league runner-up with Angela Rock (United States). From 1988 until 1993, she was a player for Matera, a professional league team in Matera, Italy, and also played in Rome. In 1991, she was voted the MVP of the Italian League, and her 1993 Rome team won the European Championship.
From 1993-98, Buck-Crockett coached and played in Switzerland for RTV Basel. During her tenure, her squads won titles including the Swiss Cup (1994-1996), the Swiss Championship (1995-1996) and participated in the European Cup of Champions (1995). Buck-Crockett was named most valuable player four times. In the summers of 2000 through 2002, Buck-Crockett was one of only three collegiate head coaches to coach some of the elite youth talent in the country at the USA Youth High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Salt Lake City and at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Buck-Crockett received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies/Communications degree from the University of Iowa in August of 2002. She replaces Jenny Fette who left FSU to pursue her master’s degree. Buck-Crockett is married to Rene’ Buck and is the proud parent of 16-year-old Marrita Royster-Crockett.
Coaching Experience 1986-88 Assistant Coach - Long Beach State University 1993-98 RTV Basel Regional Athletic Club (Player-Coach) 1995 Switzerland National Team 1998-2003 Head Coach - University of Iowa (50-123, 25-95 Big Ten) 2000 Head Coach at USA U-14 High Performance Camp in Salt Lake City 2001 Head Coach at USA High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs 2002 Head Coach at USA High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs
International/Professional Experience 1978-84 USA Olympic & National Team 1982-86 Daiei Team, Kobe (Japan) 1986-87 Major League Volleyball (USA) 1988-93 Matera and Rome (Italy) 1988-93 WPVA (Women's Professional Volleyball) 1994-95 AVP (American Volleyball Professional) 1993-98 Switzerland - Player/Coach 2000-01 USA Volleyball High Performance Staff
Honors & Achievements 1980 Member of the USA Olympic Team (Boycott) 1981 Voted All-World Team 1981 Bronze Medal, World Cup in Osaka, Japan 1982 Bronze Medal, World Championships in Lima, Peru 1984 Silver Medal, Olympic Games in Los Angeles 1986 Champions of the Japan League 1986 Major League Volleyball Champion (USA) 1986 MVP Major League Volleyball 1987 Major League Volleyball Champion (USA) 1989 World Champion Beach Volleyball 1991 Voted MVP of the Italian League 1993 European Champion (Rome) 1994-95 Voted by Sports Journalist "Best Player in Switzerland" 1994-96 Swiss Cup Champion 1995-96 Swiss Champion 1995 European Cup of Champions 1994-95 Voted by Sports Journalist "Best Player in Switzerland" 1994-96 Swiss Cup Champion 1995-96 Swiss Champion 1995 European Cup of Champions 1999 Inducted San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame