COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kevin Burch has been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) ‘Thirty Under 30’ list. The Buckeye assistant coach is one just 12 coaches in all of Division-I volleyball, men’s or women’s and indoor or sand, to make the cut.
“It means a lot to me that I've been fortunate enough to create positive and lasting relationships with many people who I've worked with,” Burch said. “I've learned so much from so many great people who have taught and continue to teach me so much about the profession and all that goes into it. Success is all about the people that surround you and this award couldn't make me feel more fortunate and grateful for the players, coaches, parents, administrators, and family who continue to support my passion.”
Ohio State’s volleyball gym is packed with young, rising star coaches as women’s team assistant coach Nikki Klingsporn joins Burch among this year’s select group and fellow women’s team assistant coach Susan Halverson-Maloney was a member of the 2016 list.
“Since the day of my first high school tryout I have always been excited to be a part of the sport in any way I can,” Burch said. “I want to continue to provide positive experiences for the student-athletes I coach and to help them develop into better people, teammates and volleyball players by the time they graduate.”
This award was created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport.
“The young talent in volleyball coaching is just outstanding,” Kathy DeBoer, AVCA Executive Director, said. “As exciting as these 30 award winners is the fact that almost 200 young coaches were nominated for consideration. It’s a good time to be a volleyball coach.”
Of the thirty recipients, 12 are NCAA Division I coaches, five in high school/club, four in NCAA Division III, three are NCAA Division II and Two-Year College, and there’s one each in the NAIA, NCCAA, and USCAA.
Burch returned to the Ohio State Men's Volleyball program as a full-time assistant coach in May 2015 and immediately delivered an NCAA Championship, extending his incredible streak to six consecutive academic years as a national champion. The '16 crown completed a circle for Burch as the victorious stretch started with the OSU graduate serving as Ohio State's volunteer assistant coach during the 2011 title run:
2015-16 - NCAA Men's National Champions - Ohio State (assistant coach)
2014-15 - NCAA Women's National Champions - Penn State (director of operations)
2013-14 - NCAA D-III Men's National Champions - Springfield College (assistant coach)
2012-13 - NCAA Men's National Champions - UC Irvine (assistant coach)
2011-12 - NCAA D-III Men's National Champions - Springfield College (assistant coach)
2010-11 - NCAA Men's National Champions - Ohio State (volunteer assistant coach)
Following his completion of a sports and leisure studies degree from Ohio State in the spring of 2011, Burch moved to Massachusetts as an assistant coach at Springfield College. He was named the AVCA's D-III National Assistant Coach of the Year after the Pride seized the 2012 men's national title. Under Burch's guidance, Springfield paced the entire country with an attacking efficiency of .381 that season.
From there, Burch rejoined the Division-I ranks as an assistant coach for the UC Irvine men's team. In his lone season with the Anteaters, Burch helped UCI bring home the 2013 D-I NCAA Championship before returning to Springfield College the next season as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's programs. With Burch roaming the sidelines, Springfield Men's Volleyball was crowned national champions once again in 2014.
Legendary volleyball coach Russ Rose then offered Burch an opportunity to join the storied women's program at Penn State University. As the Director of Operations in 2014, Burch contributed to the team's seventh NCAA Championship.