By Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
HOUSTON – Rice head volleyball coach Genny Volpe announced on Monday the hiring of John Klanac as the newest assistant coach for the Owls.
“I am very excited to add John to our coaching staff,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “He is a very accomplished player, both at the college level and as a professional athlete. Throughout the interview process, John stood out to me as someone very eager to hit the ground running and start working with our program. He is a winner and I know he will add a lot to our program.”
Klanac previously served as the volleyball director of operations at the University of Houston in 2017.
“I’m extremely honored to be joining the Rice University volleyball staff,” said Klanac. “This is something that I will never forget and I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to get in the gym with the team. The academics are unmatched, and volleyball’s continuous success is something I knew I wanted to be a part of from the beginning. I am extremely grateful to Genny, Zheng (Xiang), and Stacy (Mosely). After hearing their vision for the program, I knew this was the place for me.”
Prior to his time at Houston, Klanac was the volunteer assistant coach at Buffalo (2015-16). With the Bulls, Klanac worked primarily with the outside hitters and was in charge of charting offensive attacks. He also assisted the full-time staff with practice scheduling and day-to-day operations.
He is the owner of JAK Active, a one-on-one instructional program for volleyball players from middle school to college level and is a featured player/camp coach for Powerstation Volleyball Club. He has also served as a camp coach for Ohio State and USA Volleyball.
Klanac played collegiately at Ohio State from 2008-11, where he was a member of the 2011 National Championship team his senior season. He helped lead the Buckeyes to four Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association titles and four berths in the NCAA postseason, with one semifinal appearance and three championship game appearances.
He was a three-time MIVA All-Conference honoree, garnering Second Team honors in 2009 and First Team laurels in 2010 and 2011. For his play during the Buckeyes’ 2011 National Championship run, Klanac was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
At the end of his Buckeye career, he ranked in the top 12 kills (1,048), service aces (70) and points (1,217.5). Klanac graduated from Ohio State in 2011 with a degree in history.
Following Ohio State, Klanac played professionally overseas for five years. He played for Patriotas de Lares (Lares, Puerto Rico; 2014-15), Stiina Explorari Baia Mare (Baia Mare, Romania; 2014-15), Al Nasser Sports Club (Juffair, Bahrain; 2014), Waremme VBC (Waremme, Belguim; 2013-14), Kokkolan Tiikerit (Kokkola, Finland; 2012-13) and RWE Bottrop (Bottrop, Germany; 2011-12). With Kokkolan Tiikerit, he helped the team win the Mestaruusliiga (Finnish Championship).