Volleyball gets new head coach

Matt Clark

Villanova University inked Gilad Doron, a 10-year Israeli National team volleyball player, as the new head coach of the volleyball program. Doron signed a one-year, renewable contract.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone of Gilad’s talents and experience to join our program,” Villanova Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro said. “We are excited about the potential for him to continue the success we have seen in the past year under Alison’s [Keeley] leadership.”

Doron’s last college coaching job was from 1996-2000 at Temple University where he was the assistant coach. During his tenure there, Doron helped Temple to a 100-29 record, three straight A-10 championships and three straight NCAA bids.

Most recently, he has been part of the Club Volleyball circuit in Philadelphia where he founded his current club, The Philadelphia Volleyball Academy.

Doron played for the Israeli National team for 10 years and coached in Israel before coming to the United States in 1996. During his last year as head coach he took his team to the European league Division-1 Tournament, where only the top eight teams in Europe were invited.

Doron was chosen out of a pile of 60 applications where about a third of the applicants had previous head coaching experience in America. His greatest strengths are his technique, strategy and individual instruction. Nicastro received many calls from people in the volleyball community telling him what a good coach Doron is.

“The more we got to know him, the better we liked him,” Nicatro said.

The need for a head coach became evident after Allison Keeley took the head coaching job at UNLV in mid-January.

Keeley took the Wildcats from last place to fourth place in the Big East Conference to earn a berth in 2003 conference tournament. According to the UNLV press, Keeley was working with limited resources from the program. Nicastro confirmed that schools out west such as UNLV place a greater emphasis on volleyball than many other schools.

“She did a wonderful job here,” Nicastro said. “Certain schools out west place a greater emphasis on volleyball. It’s a great opportunity or her. It’s bittersweet for us.”

The transition of head coaches has been almost seamless for the players.

Assistant Coach Stewart Arevalo has been the interim head coach and kept the team on its schedule with workouts and a few spring tournaments. Arevalo will stay on as the assistant head coach, and another coach, of Doron’s choice will be added in June.