Gauchos Add Leon Blazer to Volleyball Staff

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball coach Kathy Gregory has added Leon Blazer, formerly of Western Oregon University, to her coaching staff for the upcoming season.

Blazer, a native of Auburn, Wash., comes to UCSB with great credentials, having previously worked under a pair of former Olympic coaches.

"We are very fortunate to have someone of Leon's caliber," Gregory said. "Leon comes in with an incredible amount of experience and knowledge in all facets of the game."

At Western Oregon Blazer coached under Brad Saindon, who was the head coach of the Australian Olympic women's volleyball teams from 1997-2000 and spent two stints with the men's national teams. Saindon also coached at a pair of Pac-10 schools before bringing Blazer to Western Oregon in 2008. Previously, Blazer worked with Bill Neville, a onetime Canadian men's team Olympic coach.

"I have been very fortunate for my opportunity at Western Oregon and to work with Brad Saindon," said Blazer, who will be responsible for the team's video analysis and working with the middle blockers and the team's blocking. "It led to this great opportunity for me in Santa Barbara where I will once again have the chance to learn from a great coach in Kathy Gregory.

"Coming here is exactly where I need to go in furthering my coaching career. I can't think of a better place to learn more. I am excited to be with a group of such talented players. I am excited to see where we go and I have high hopes for this upcoming season."