After experiencing years of success coaching programs at the NCAA Division I and NAIA levels, Kip Yoshimura has emerged from a national search to become Pacific University’s next volleyball coach.
Yoshimura arrived at Pacific on Monday and began workouts with current players as their non-traditional practice window opened April 17, 2012.
He arrived in Forest Grove after serving the last season as an assistant coach at NAIA Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif.
His resume includes tenures as head coach at Division I Gonzaga and at NAIA power Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho and experience coaching at the club level.
Yoshimura replaced the previous head coach, Lena Chan, who resigned after four seasons to open up a job opportunity for her husband in Germany.
“We are pleased that Kip will be taking the reins of our volleyball program,” said Pacific Director of Athletics Ken Schumann. “The combination of his experience at Division I and his experience at several small colleges give him a unique skill set that will make him successful at Pacific.“
Schumann is also ready for the  program to grow with Yoshimura.
“I am confident that he can build our volleyball program into a consistent contender in the Northwest Conference,” said Schumann.
Yoshimura said he is excited for the chance to work at his first Division III school.
He also said he looks forward to the chance to work with student-athletes who are just as focused on academics as they are on volleyball.
“This is a great opportunity,” Yoshimura said.  “This is a great chance to work at the Division III level and find that right student-athlete that can benefit from athletics and that we can benefit from on the court.”
Yoshimura also voiced his awareness of the challenges this transition will bring.
“It will be a good challenge and a bit different of an experience than I am used to,” he said. “But I am definitely up for it.”
Most recently he worked as an assistant coach at Vanguard, which finished with a 23-14 record and advanced to the 2011 NAIA National Tournament.
While in Southern California, Yoshimura also worked as associate director and head coach for the 951 Elite Volleyball Club.
Prior to Vanguard, Yoshimura spent one season as an assistant coach at Division I UC Davis.
Yoshimura experienced his best success at the NAIA level.
He spent nine seasons leading the powerful Lewis-Clark State program.
From 1993 to 2001, Yoshimura led the Warriors to five NAIA National Tournament appearances, including a national semifinals appearance in 1999, as well six conference or regional championships.
A six-time AVCA Pacific Northwest Region Coach of the Year and a six-time conference coach of the year, are just the start.
Yoshimura coached 16 NAIA All-Americans, 25 all-region performers, 40 all-conference selections and 13 NAIA All-American Scholar-Athletes.
His experience at Lewis-Clark State led Yoshimura to Gonzaga University. There he led the Bulldogs’ Division I program for seven seasons.
During his tenure, Yoshimura coached 10 All-West Coast Conference performers and eight WCC all-academic honorees. His tenure was topped by a 17-13 record during the 2007 season.
As illustrated by his work at Lewis-Clark State, Yoshimura is committed to making sure his athletes succeed both on the court and in the classroom.
“I want each and every student-athlete in our program to enjoy the whole college experience,” he said. “Part of that is on the court, part of that is certainly in the classroom and part of that is socially on campus.”
Yoshimura said his main goal does focus around winning matches.
“At the same time, we want players who want to win and play at the highest level that they can,” he said.  “We want them to aspire to be better than they are and hopefully as a coaching staff we can provide that opportunity to play on a team where their goals are met.”
Prior to his arrival at Lewis-Clark State, Yoshimura spent one season as an assistant coach at Gonzaga.
He also had tenures as an assistant coach at Weber State and Long Beach State and head coach at Rancho Santiago College, a junior college in Santa Ana, Calif.
At the club level, Yoshimura served as head coach of the Snake River Juniors Volleyball Club, Ogden Juniors Volleyball Club, Huntington Beach Boys’ Volleyball Club, California Junior Volleyball Club and Inland Empire Volleyball.
Yoshimura played junior college volleyball at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif., where he was a two-year starting setter and an all-conference performer in 1985.
He also played one season for the men’s club program at San Jose State University.
A native of San Jose, Calif. Yoshimura graduated from Long Beach State in 1990 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

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