Assistant Coach Emily Hiza joins the Rams from Oregon State, where she started as a volunteer assistant coach in 2011 before becoming an assistant coach in 2012. Hiza, a former standout libero at Iowa, will primarily work with the defense and on passing.
Hiza was named to the 2015 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 list, an award created to honor 30 of the up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years old in the sport at all levels of the game. Of the recipients, 11 come from the Division I level. The honor is intended to recognize the sport’s up-and-coming coaches.
“She is from Colorado and wants to work for the Rams, which is a real positive for us,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said of Hiza, a Swink, Colorado native. “She’s an experienced recruiter in the Pac-12 and she’s an experienced collegiate libero, so she perfectly fits our needs. I appreciate her energetic and innovative approach to coaching, and I’m looking forward to what she’ll bring to CSU.”
“I couldn’t be more excited about this new adventure at Colorado State,” Hiza said. “I grew up a Rams fan and my family all attended CSU. Tom has done a tremendous job building a powerhouse program and I can’t wait to learn from him while helping the program contend for a national championship.”
In 2015, Hiza helped Oregon State’s freshman libero Kayla Ellis to an All-Freshman Honorable Mention season in the Pac-12, ranking second among the league’s rookies in digs. Libero Darby Reeder set the OSU single-season record for digs in 2014 with 615, placing third in the Pac-12. Hiza also mentored libero Becky Defoe for three of her four seasons at Oregon State (2011-13), which were perhaps the finest defensive seasons in program history. Defoe, who ended her career in 2013, broke the school’s record for digs in a career and is one of just 10 players in Pac-12 history with 2,000 or more.
Hiza also was the head coach of the Colorado Junior Volleyball Club for two years, and also served as the head coach of the Boss Volleyball Club in Albany, Oregon.
As a four-year captain at Iowa from 2005-08, Hiza finished second all-time in digs (1,929) and 12th in service aces (97). She also earned Academic All-District honors twice and Big Ten Academic Honors three times. Hiza graduated from Iowa in 2009 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in finance and marketing, while earning a minor in Spanish.
Hiza was a four-time Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post all-state, all-region, all-district and all-conference selection, leading Swink High School to a Colorado Class 2A state championship in 2001.