GEORGETOWN, Texas – Southwestern University Director of Athletics Dr. Glada Munt announced Friday the hiring of Don Flora as the seventh head volleyball coach in school history. Flora joins SU as the fourth winningest active coach in Division III volleyball with an .820 winning percentage at the Division III level.
Flora comes to Southwestern after reviving a fledgling Texas Tech program. In his five seasons in Lubbock, Flora guided the Red Raiders to 67 wins, twice as many victories as the program earned in the five years prior to his arrival. Additionally, Flora coached two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Americans, multiple All-Region and All-Big 12 selections and nine Big 12 All-Academic selections this past season alone, the most of any team in the conference.
"Southwestern is delighted to bring a coach of Don's caliber into our department," said Dr. Munt. "He is a proven winner and will build on Coach Long's success as Southwestern continues to be one of the premiere Division III volleyball programs in the country."
"I am thankful to Dr. Munt, Glenn Schwab and the committee for their confidence and enthusiasm in me coming to Southwestern University to lead the women's volleyball program," said Flora. "It is an excellent time to be a part of such a fantastic group of women and I am excited to be involved with this team. I believe we will have a focus and a culture that can immediately compete for championships."
Prior to Texas Tech, Flora served as the assistant coach at New Mexico State after an illustrious career at the University of La Verne. Flora developed the Leopards into an elite national power as one of only three programs to finish ranked in the top ten in the final AVCA national poll nine straight seasons (2000-08) with five Final Four appearances. He was named the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year after guiding ULV to an NCAA Division III title in 2001. A four-time AVCA West Region Coach of the Year, Flora and the Leopards won nine consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championships and set the SCIAC record for consecutive wins with 56 victories spanning five seasons.
Flora inherits the 2015 SCAC Championship team including AVCA All-Region First Team setter Nikki Welch. Welch, a rising senior from Austin, Texas, posted 847 assists and averaged 9.21 assists per set which were both second in the conference while also ranking in the top 20 in digs.
The volleyball team is arguably one of the most successful programs at Southwestern since joining the SCAC in 1993. The Pirates have earned 13 NCAA Championship appearances in 21 years, 10 in the last 11 seasons, to go along with five conference titles.
Flora graduated with a bachelor's degree in social sciences from La Verne in 1990 before later returning to the classroom to earn his master's degree in the leadership and management curriculum in 2000. While volleyball is his main focus now, Flora was a three-sport athlete in college, competing on the football, tennis and volleyball squads where he was a two-time all-conference setter.
In his spare time, Flora is heavily involved in USA High Performance along with various club circuits, junior development programs and camps in the southwest region and across the nation.
Flora, a native of Covina, Calif., and his wife, Jeanne, currently reside in Georgetown with their two daughters, Annika and Alexis.
"We welcome Coach, his wife and children to our Southwestern athletic family," said Dr. Munt.
"My family and I are truly looking forward to this opportunity and being a part of the Pirate Athletic Department family. It is an exciting era for Southwestern volleyball."
THE FLORA FILE
Hometown: Covina, Calif.
High School: Charter Oak '86
Alma Mater: La Verne '90, '92
Bachelor's Degree: Social Sciences
Master's Degree: Leadership & Management
Children: Annika, Alexis
2015-present: Southwestern University Head Coach
2011-15: Texas Tech Head Coach
2009-11: New Mexico State Assistant Coach
1998-08: La Verne Head Coach (women's)
1993-97: La Verne Head Coach (men's)
1993-97: La Verne Assistant Coach (women's)
1987-90: University of La Verne