CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia volleyball head coach Aaron Smith announced the addition of Joe Klein as an assistant coach for the Cavaliers on Monday (July 8). Klein joins the Virginia staff after serving as an assistant coach at Minnesota State in 2018.
“Joe and I have known each other since 2011 and have been talking volleyball ever since,” said Smith. “When he decided he wanted to be a collegiate coach I told him that I could see the two of us teaming up on the same staff at some point. Little did I know the opportunity would present itself only three years later. Joe’s experience playing professionally combined with his coaching experience at Nebraska and Mankato have prepared him to excel here at Virginia.”
Klein helped the Mavericks to an 18-11 overall record and mentored an AVCA All-American at outside hitter. During his season at Minnesota State, a pair of Mavericks earned all-conference honors. Klein served as the recruiting coordinator and was involved in all aspects of the program, assisting with skills training, scouting, camps, video and travel.
Prior to his time on staff at Minnesota State, Klein was a graduate assistant at Nebraska under Hall of Fame head coach John Cook. In two seasons with the Cornhuskers, Klein was a part of two Big 10 championships, two Final Four appearances and the 2017 NCAA Championship. At Nebraska, he was primarily responsible for scouting, assisting in skills training, practice set up and game day statistics.
Before he joined the coaching ranks, Klein enjoyed an eight-year professional career. Klein’s career took him across the world, with stops in Sweden, Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland before returning to the U.S. He captured a Finnish championship with Kokkolan Tiikerit in 2013, a Super Cup title with LUC volleyball in Switzerland and a Premier Volleyball League title with the Lightning in Chicago, Ill.
“Having played and having seen it been played at many different levels, Joe knows volleyball,” said Smith. “I expect him to bring some new perspective to our gym based on his experiences both overseas and throughout the midwest. Joe’s communication skills and personality will allow him to relate immediately with team and staff. He is going to be a lot of fun to work with and we are excited to continue the progress we have made with his help.”
Klein earned a bachelor’s degree from Graceland University, where he was a two-time NAIA All-American and was named the 2008 NAIA Newcomer of the Year. Klein completed his master’s degree in higher educational administration at the University of Nebraska in 2018.