Former Olympic Coach, Taras Liskevych, Tabbed to Lead New Volleyball Era
April 4, 2005
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Taras ('Terry') Liskevych (Lis-KEHV-ich), former U.S. Olympic women's head coach, has been named the head coach of the Oregon State University volleyball team, OSU Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis announced Monday.
'It's not every day you have an opportunity to hire a person who is quite frankly a legend in the volleyball community,' De Carolis said. 'Taras Liskevych has a wealth of experience at the collegiate and international level, and I'm confident we could have not hired a more qualified individual for the position. This is truly a landmark day for the Oregon State University volleyball program and the entire athletics community.'
Liskevych becomes the 10th volleyball coach in school history, replacing Nancy Somera who left OSU after leading the Beavers for the past six seasons.
'It is exciting to come to an institution that is part of the best volleyball conference in the country in the Pac-10,' said Liskevych. 'OSU is an excellent university and I really like the vision of the administration. I knew that when I came back to coaching that I wanted to do it at the highest level and that is the Pac-10.'
A native of Leucadia, Calif., Liskevych spent 12 years (1985-96) as the head coach of the USA National Women's Volleyball Team. During his tenure with the National Team, the U.S. earned bronze medals at the 1992 Olympics and the 1990 World Championships. In 1995 Liskevych led his team to the gold medal at the World Grand Prix and he was selected as the Federation of International Volleyball International Coach of the Year. His teams also finished seventh at the 1988 and 1996 Olympics and fourth at the 1991 World Cup.
Liskevych is a 1970 graduate of Loyola University (Ill.) with a bachelor's degree in biology. He received his Master's of Science in Physical Education from George Williams College (Ill.) in 1973 and finished his doctorate in Physical Education at The Ohio State University in 1976.
Prior to his stint with USA Volleyball, Liskevych spent nine years as the head coach at the University of the Pacific from 1976-84. Liskevych led the Tigers to national prominence, finishing fourth in the country in his fourth season on the job. Pacific never again finished lower than fifth under Liskevych's leadership, including a second-place finish in 1980. The Tigers were undefeated NorCal Champions in 1979, 1980 and 1981 and Liskevych earned NorPac Coach of the Year honors in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1983 and earned Pacific Coast Athletic Association's Coach of the Year in 1984. He also received the Collegiate Volleyball Coaches Association's National Coach of the Year award in 1983.
Liskevych spent two years (1972-73) as an assistant coach for the men's volleyball team at George Williams College before earning the first head coaching job of his career coaching the Ohio State men's team. Under his supervision from 1974-76, the Buckeyes were co-champions of the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association both of his seasons and he earned MIVA coach of the year both times.
Liskevych got his start in coaching women as an assistant for the USA Women's National Team at the Pan American Games in 1975.
'It speaks volumes of the reputation Oregon State University has that we have been able to attract a person with Coach Liskevych's credentials,' De Carolis added. 'He expressed interest immediately in the position and he welcomes the challenges of competing in the `Conference of Champions.''
Since 2003, Liskevych has been the owner and president of Total Sports, Inc., a sports marketing and consulting company. Prior to Total Sports, Liskevych was the president and co-founder of ARK Digital Technologies, Inc., which produced and marketed digital video systems and developed software solutions for sports. In addition, he has spent time as a consultant for the Australian national teams since 1995.
'I missed coaching and the challenges of coaching and mentoring student-athletes,' Liskevych said of his desire to rejoin the collegiate coaching ranks. 'College coaching is so much more fulfilling and gratifying.'
Liskevych and his wife, Nancy, have two children, Mark, 20, a sophomore at the University of Chicago, and Krista, 17, a junior at La Jolla Country Day High School.
The Beavers finished the 2004 season with a 12-16 overall record and were 5-13 and tied for seventh in Pac-10 Conference action.
Oregon State University expects to hold a formal press conference in mid-April when Liskevych arrives in Corvallis.