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Charlottesville, Va. Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced today Lee Maes has been named head women’s volleyball coach for the Cavaliers. Maes comes to Virginia after serving as the head women’s assistant coach at Nebraska the last three seasons. He also had stints with both the men’s and women’s programs at California and served as the head coach for USA Volleyball’s Junior National A2 Program.

“We spent a lot of time talking with experts in the college volleyball community,” Littlepage said. “One name was mentioned consistently and prominently in those conversations. That name was Lee Maes. We have confidence Coach Maes will build on a good foundation that’s in place. His background in championship-level volleyball will be invaluable. He’ll bring energy and enthusiasm to all aspects of UVa volleyball.”

“First and foremost, I’m thankful to Craig Littlepage and his associates for offering me this opportunity,” Maes said. “It was clearly evident during my visit how much pride everyone has for the University of Virginia. I’m very excited about the commitment and support for the volleyball program. My mission is to offer duty and service to the University and its student-athletes with the understanding that I’m obligated to be the kind of role model that will help the student-athletes grow and prosper in a positive manner. To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun! This is exactly how I feel about coaching.”

During his three-year tenure at Nebraska, working under coach John Cook, the Cornhuskers compiled a 95-5 record, won the NCAA Championship in 2006, reached the NCAA Championship match in 2005 and the NCAA Regional finals last season. Nebraska was the Big 12 Conference Champions each of those three years and produced 13 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Americans, two national players of the year and a Honda-Broderick Award winner. The program also excelled academically. A total of six players were named Academic All-Americans and one received the NCAA’s prestigious Top-Eight Award.

Maes was integral in helping recruit back-to-back classes that were rated among the top-five in the nation the past two seasons.

“Since Lee’s arrival, Nebraska has been on an incredible run over the last three years,” Cook said. “We are thankful for his hard work and effort and helping Nebraska volleyball reach the next level. One of Lee’s long-range goals was to become a head coach, and Virginia presented a great opportunity for him. They are very lucky to have him as their head coach, and it shows the commitment that Virginia is making to become a successful program.”

Before working at Nebraska, Maes was a member of the California women’s volleyball staff from 1998-2005. He served as the associate head coach from 2003-05 and was an assistant coach from 1998-2003. The Golden Bears reached the NCAA Tournament each of his last three seasons, a first for California since the late 1980s. He was involved in all aspects of the program, including on-court training and opponent scouting, and recruited a total of 11 All-Pac-10 Conference performers.

Maes’ first collegiate coaching position was as the head men’s volleyball coach at California from 1997-2000. In his first season, he led Cal to the Northern California Collegiate Volleyball League Conference championship and a national runner-up finish at the NIRSA Collegiate Club National Championship. That season culminated in Maes being honored as coach of the year. His men’s team recorded three straight top-five national finishes (1998-2000), amassing an overall record of 98-27. In 1998 he also served as the interim women’s head coach.

Maes also has extensive background at the national team level. He led the USA Girls’ Junior National A2 Team to a gold medal at both the 2007 European Global Challenge and the 2006 High Performance Championships. In 2004-05, Maes served as an assistant coach for the Women’s National Team staff that earned gold at the 2004 U.S. Open Championships. Maes also served as a coach for the USA Girls’ Youth National Team and the High Performance Team from 1994-2003.

In addition to his work at the national and collegiate levels, Maes has directed the Forefront 18-1’s Golden Bear girls club volleyball team (Oakland, Calif.) since 1997. He developed and sent over 50 prospects on to the collegiate level. Maes also had a stint with the Nike 18-1’s Ichiban club (Long Beach, Calif.) as associate coach from 1993-97.

Maes began his coaching career as the head girls volleyball coach at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Calif., from 1989-97. From 1993-97, he simultaneously worked as the head boys varsity coach at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Maes graduated from Long Beach State in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in geography. He is a member of USA Volleyball, the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Great Plains Volleyball Association.

Maes replaces Melissa Shelton who resigned in December and was named head coach at William & Mary in January.

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