By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After serving each of the last three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Tennessee Tech volleyball, Zach Weinberg has been promoted and will now serve as associate head coach for the Golden Eagles moving forward.
“Zach has been such a huge part of our success at Tech so far,” head coach Jeannette Waldo expressed. “To have someone on staff that you can trust fully is very valuable. When you couple that trust with our similar competitive tendencies, it makes it so much easier to put your foot on the gas and move forward.
“His positive nature keeps our gym lit in a way that is very necessary when the pressure is on. We make a great team and you need great teamwork from the top if you want those traits to be present within your program. We appreciate him every day in our continual ascent.”
Weinberg expressed what the new title and working with the Golden Eagle staff means to him.
“I am humbled, honored and excited to be elevated to associate head coach,” Weinberg explained. “When I accepted this position a little over three years ago, Jeannette laid out her vision for the program to me and I was so delighted to be a part of helping that vision come to fruition. We still have a ways to go before we reach the lofty goals we’ve set for ourselves, but having her recognize me for the work we’ve done with this promotion is a wonderful feeling.
“I’m so thankful to Jeannette and [assistant coach] Tierney [Flaherty] for being an incredible crew to work with every day and for pushing me to improve and be the best coach I can be. A special thank you also goes out to all of the players in our program that have allowed me to coach them over the last three seasons. I can’t wait to get back to work in August and continue our quest for the Ohio Valley Conference Championship!”
Under the guidance of Waldo and her staff, including Weinberg, the purple and gold have made steady improvement on the court, particularly in OVC play. After finishing the 2017 campaign at just 2-14 in the league, the team’s final season before the arrival of the new coaching staff, Tech has turned in a better mark of 5-11 in year one.
The script completely flipped over the next two seasons, with the Golden Eagles posting back-to-back 9-7 records in 2019 and 2020-21. The showings represented two straight winning campaigns in OVC play for the Tech program for the first time since 2007 and 2008.
Recently, Weinberg was honored as a 2021 Thirty Under 30 Award winner by the American Volleyball Association (AVCA), an award created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport.
One month later, the newly minted Tech associated head coach was selected to represent the United State on the world stage of the game, serving as the head coach of the USA women’s volleyball open team at the 2022 Maccabiah Games in Israel. Weinberg ran with the opportunity to serve as the Maccabi USA’s women’s youth and open women’s beach volleyball teams from April 2015 to January 2016. After hand-selecting athletes from throughout the continental United States, he guided both teams to gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games (an Olympics equivalent) in Santiago, Chile.
Before coming to Tech, Weinberg was an assistant coach at UNLV, where he helped the Runnin’ Rebels to the program’s first-ever at-large bid and win in the NCAA Tournament in 2016. UNLV finished 24-8 that season with a program-high No. 33 finish in the national RPI.
Weinberg worked heavily with team defense, liberos and recruiting at UNLV, and the team ended both the 2016 and 2017 seasons ranked within the top 70 programs in the country in total blocks. His 2017 recruiting class received an honorable mention honor from PrepVolleyball.
Weinberg earned his master’s degree at Northwestern State University, where he worked as a graduate assistant coach and video coordinator for the volleyball team. The Lady Demons captured the program’s first-ever Southland Conference tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth in the 2014 season. Senior Mackenzie Neely was named the Southland Conference Tournament’s MVP and received all-conference first-team honors.
During Weinberg’s time at Northwestern State, the Lady Demons also ranked with the top 40 teams nationally in four statistical categories: opponent hitting percentage, aces per set, digs per set and blocks per set.
He received the opportunity to become the head coach of Maccabi USA’s women’s youth and open women’s beach volleyball teams from April 2015 to January 2016. Maccabi USA is a not-for-profit organization that fields athletic teams composed of Jewish athletes. Weinberg hand-selected athletes from throughout the continental United States and guided both teams to gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games (an Olympics equivalent) in Santiago, Chile.
Weinberg served as a student assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio, after working as a student manager from Dec. 2008 to Sept. 2009. The Bobcats won three regular-season and three MAC conference championships to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Concurrently, he was the president, head coach and four-year starter for the Ohio men’s club volleyball team.
Photo by Jim Dillon