Head coach Brooke Niles announced the hiring of Angela Rock ahead of the 2018-19 season. Rock, a former assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara with Niles, and one of the most successful players in beach volleyball history, joins the team in a full-time position this season after serving as a volunteer assistant coach in the Seminoles’ run for a National Championship last spring.
Rock is an Olympian, a 27-time professional beach volleyball winner, a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame and the San Diego State Hall of Fame, and the author of Angela Rock’s Advanced Beach Volleyball Tactics.
Rock joins the Seminoles from Saint Mary’s College, where she led the Gaels beach volleyball team to a program-record 19-10 finish in 2017. She coached Payton Rund at SMC, who later transferred to Florida State for the 2019 spring season. Rund and her partner, Lindsey Knudsen, took down USC’s No. 1 pair of Kelly Claes and Sarah Hughes in 2017, breaking their 102-match winning streak.
Prior to SMC, Rock served as the head volleyball coach at Southwestern College in Southern California for eight years and taught exercise science as a tenured professor. She also gained head coaching experience at Cuyamaca College in 2015 and at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 1999 – where she led the Nanooks to their first Pac-West Conference Tournament. Rock
From 1987 to 2000, Rock established herself as a major force on both the Women’s Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) and Federation de International Volleyball (FIVB) tours. She ranks third in WPVA history in career earnings and won 21 events, including 12 titles in 1991 when she was voted the tour’s “Best Hitter”. The previous year, Rock coaxed Gregory out of retirement as the two partnered for a tournament in Laguna Beach, Calif. In addition, she served as a player representative to the governing bodies for both the FIVB and WPVA.
The pinnacle of Rock’s international career was playing outside hitter for Team USA at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, where the Americans placed seventh. During her four years as a member of the United States National Team, Rock also participated in the 1986 Goodwill Games and World Championships as well as the 1987 Pan American Games. She was named Team USA’s “Most Valuable Player” in 1985. Rock returned to the Olympics in 1996 as the coach and trainer for American beach volleyball duo Holly McPeak and Nancy Reno. From 1997-2000, Rock played with partner Karrie Poppinga, the mother of current FSU beach volleyball player Avery Poppinga.
Collegiately, Rock played on NCAA Final Four teams at San Diego State in 1981 and 1982 before earning First Team All-American recognition in 1984. Rock – who also competed in track and field for the Aztecs as a javelin thrower – was inducted into the SDSU Hall of Fame in 1991. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State before completing an M.S. in education from National University.
Coach Rock graduated with a degree in psychology from San Diego State University where she participated on two NCAA Final Four Volleyball teams in 1981 and 1982 and received First Team All American honors as an outside hitter on the Aztecs Women’s NCAA Volleyball Team in 1984. In recognition for her outstanding play, Rock was honored and inducted into the SDSU Hall of Fame in 1991. Rock then went on to earn her MS in Education from National University and MS in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific University.