TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona head volleyball coach David Rubio today announced that international coach Chris Gonzalez and former Wildcat Dana Burkholder have joined the Wildcat coaching staff as assistant coaches. The two replace Charita Stubbs and Steve Walker, both of whom left for head coaching positions at North Carolina State and UC Davis, respectively.
For the past decade, Gonzalez has coached some of the best junior, collegiate and international players in the United States and around the world. He began his coaching career in 1995 at Cal Juniors Volleyball Club in Long Beach, Calif. While at Cal Juniors, Gonzalez was the head coach and court trainer for the 18- and 16-and-under Elite programs. During his tenure, Gonzalez trained 18 U.S. Junior Olympic All-American selections, seven Volleyball Magazine "Fab 50" selections (Kristina Baum in 2003) and six Volleyball Magazine High School All-Americans. Teams trained by Gonzalez also captured multiple Southern California Volleyball Association (SCVA) championships including 18- and 16-and-under SCVA national qualifier and regional championships. At the national level, Gonzalez’s teams earned seven U.S. Junior Olympic Open and Club medals including the 1998 18-and-under and 2005 16-and-under U.S. Junior Olympic National Club Championships.
Gonzalez also has experience at the collegiate level. During his five years at Long Beach State, the 49ers reached the NCAA Final Four on four different occasions, culminating in the first undefeated season in NCAA volleyball history in 1998. Gonzalez’s record during his time at Long Beach State was a staggering 134-6, including a 19-3 record in the NCAA Tournament.
While at Long Beach State, Gonzalez assisted in the development of nine American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Volleyball Magazine All-Americans, including 2004 Olympian Tayyiba Haneef and two-time NCAA Player of the Year and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Misty May.
Gonzalez began his international coaching career as an assistant for the 2001 and 2003 USA women’s National A2 Team. During that time, he was also an assistant court trainer for the World Championships, World Grand Prix and World Cup teams. In 2003, he was named head coach of the A2 Team, which competed in the 2003 U.S. Open National Championships, and head court trainer for the 2003 Pan American Games Team. Gonzalez’s 2003 U.S. Open team (which included University of Arizona alum Kim Glass) earned a silver medal, while the 2003 Pan American Games team captured the bronze.
Continuing his international career, Gonzalez was recently the assistant coach of the Vole’ro Zurich Volleyball Club in Switzerland. Vole’ro, featuring U.S. Olympians Logan Tom and Robyn Ah-Mow Santos, and three-time Russian silver medalist, World Championship and European Championships MVP Evgenia Artamonova, captured both the 2006 Swiss Cup Championship and Swiss NLA Championship. Vole’ro also finished in fifth place at the European Top Teams Cup Championships, the highest finish in the club’s history. The team was also a Final Four participant at the Top Volleyball International Tournament, which featured Finasa Sports from Brazil and the world’s number one team Racing Club de Cannes from France.
Gonzalez currently writes a weekly instructional article for Prepvolleyball.com and is the owner of Apex Volleyball clinics. He has conducted more than 40 clinics and coaching seminars in California, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Nevada and Hawaii.
Gonzalez earned a bachelor of arts in communication studies from the University of Iowa in 2005.
Burkholder has spent the past two and a half years in sales and marketing for Bear Essential News for Kids, where she managed advertising, sales and production for the Tucson edition. In a one year period, she increased company sales by 30 percent.
For four months in 2003, Burkholder was a selected member of the U.S. National Volleyball Association, where she trained with the elite players in the U.S. and participated in international competition.
From August 2003-May 2004, Burkholder served as the women’s and men’s varsity volleyball coach at Mountain View High School. She also served as a student assistant for the 2002 Arizona team and has been an instructor at the Dave Rubio Summer Volleyball Camp each of the past seven years.
Burkholder, a two-time first-team All-American setter, is Arizona’s only Pac-10 Player of the Year (2000) and a three-time All-Pac-10 honoree. Arizona’s career leader in assists, she led Arizona to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including three Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and the school’s only Final Four appearance in 2001. Burkholder also served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board and was the Women’s Sports Foundation College Athlete of the Year in 2000.
Burkholder earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in art history and creative writing from the University of Arizona in 2002.