Ramblers outhit Mastodons .408 to .094 in three-set sweep
Defending champions won last 27 matches last season
National championship coach locked up through 2019 season
Head coach Shane Davis named Coach of the Year
Ramblers speak to media in anticipation of tomorrow's night's national championship
A former Loyola University Chicago volleyball standout, Shane Davis enters his 12th season as the head coach of the Loyola men's volleyball program. A four-time Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Coach of the Year, Davis has enjoyed much success, compiling a career record of 237-86 and leading Loyola to its first-ever NCAA Championship in 2014.
Since his arrival in 2004, Davis has coached nine All-Americans (Scott Greene, James Grunst, Chris Kozlarek, Krystian Krzyzak, Kris Berzins, Mike Bunting, Joseph Smalzer, Thomas Jaeschke and Nicholas Olson) and 40 All-MIVA selections, including four MIVA Players of the Year (Greene in 2005, Kozlarek in 2006, Smalzer in 2013 and Jaeschke in 2014).
Davis and the Ramblers made history in his 11th season, bringing home the program's first-ever NCAA Championship title after a 3-1 victory over Stanford. Loyola also captured its second consecutive MIVA title, defeating Lewis 3-1 in the championship game. Davis earned his fourth MIVA Coach of the Year honor, while Thomas Jaeschke became the first sophomore to be named MIVA Player of the Year. After leading the Ramblers to the NCAA Final Four for the second straight year, Davis was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coach of the Year. While coach Davis and the Ramblers were earning numerous volleyball awards, the team excelled in the classroom as well. Loyola had 12 athletes named to the MIVA Academic All Conference Team, while Peter Jasaitis was named to the Capital One Academic All- District V Team.
Davis's tenth season at the helm in Rogers Park proved to be his most successful to date as the team posted a mark of 22-10 en route to sharing the MIVA regular season crown. The Ramblers defeated Lewis, 3-2, in the championship game to earn their first-ever NCAA Final Four birth. Loyola battled valiantly before bowing out to eventual National Champion UC-Irvine. Smalzer was recognized as the MIVA Player of the Year, the first Rambler since 2006 to receive the honor, while Thomas Jaeschke was named MIVA Freshman of the Year. As has been the theme during Davis's tenure, the Ramblers excelled off the court as fifteen players received MIVA Academic All-Conference accolades.
In his ninth season as head coach, Davis guided the Ramblers to the program's 16th-consecutive winning season as Loyola recorded a 29-12 overall mark in 2012. The Ramblers finished third in the MIVA standings with an 8-4 conference record and reached the 2012 MIVA Semifinals. Boasting four All-MIVA selections (Smalzer, Jasaitis, Bunting and Berzins), the team also excelled off the court as 14 players were named to the 2012 MIVA Academic All-Conference Team.
For a second-straight year, Loyola finished runner-up in the MIVA standings, earning a 21-8 overall record in 2011. The Ramblers concluded the season in the 2011 MIVA Championship match, falling to Ohio State in five sets. Joseph Smalzer, Mike Bunting and Mike Hutz went on to earn All-MIVA accolades with Smalzer also named MIVA Freshman of the Year.
In 2010, the Ramblers played to a 20-6 overall record, placing second in the MIVA and finishing the season unbeaten at home with a 14-0 mark. For his efforts, Davis earned MIVA Coach of the Year accolades for the third time in his career. In the 2010 MIVA Championship match against Ohio State, the Ramblers fell one game short of reaching the NCAA Final Four, falling to the Buckeyes, 3-2.
Loyola finished with an overall mark of 17-10 in 2009, wrapping up the year ranked tied for No. 13 in the final Bison/AVCA Division I-II Men's Coaches' Top 15 Poll. The season was highlighted by a 3-2 defeat of defending national champion and previously unbeaten Penn State in Alumni Gym for the program's first-ever victory over a top-ranked team. Loyola also excelled off the court, as 17 players earned MIVA Academic All-Conference honors, while Kris Berzins was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Second Team.
In his first five seasons as head coach, Davis led the Ramblers to a 109-39 overall record, winning 85 percent of his conference matches and collecting back-to-back MIVA regular-season championships in 2005 and 2006. During just his second season, the Ramblers recorded a program-best, 21-match win streak in 2005, finishing with the best record (26-3, 15-1 MIVA) in school history. That season Davis was named MIVA Coach of the Year, earning the honor again in 2006.
In 2005, Davis helped train the U.S. Men's Under-21 National Team in Lake Placid, N.Y., as an assistant coach under John Speraw. The team traveled to India in August to compete in the FIVB Under-21 World Championship, where the Americans finished 2-3 in Pool B play and placed eighth overall.
The Denver, Iowa native was a member of Loyola's men's volleyball team from 2000-03, during which time he set a school record for career assists (5,337), reaching second place in school history in career digs (723) as well. Davis was named Loyola's 2003 Male Athlete of the Year.
As a freshman, he recorded 1,528 assists in a single season, good for third all-time, and was named MIVA Freshman of the Year in addition to grabbing Third Team All-MIVA honors. He received First Team All-MIVA honors in each of the next three seasons and was also a Second Team All-America selection in 2003. Davis led Loyola to 78 wins in his collegiate career, highlighted by a 24-6 season in 2002, when the Ramblers reached the MIVA Tournament championship match for just the third time in school history.
Davis currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Andrea, and daughter, Sydney.