SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Matt Jones will be the newest assistant coach on the UCSB women's volleyball staff heading into the 2017 fall season, head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch announced on Tuesday.
"We are very excited to complete our coaching staff with the addition of Matt Jones. Matt combines a quality person and a strong work ethic with a great volleyball mind. We are looking forward to him making an immediate impact," Lantagne Welch said. "Having been a head coach, assistant women's coach and assistant men's coach along with a college and professional player, he has a great variety of experiences that will benefit our program."
Jones joins the Gauchos following a one-year stint as an assistant coach to both the men's and women's volleyball programs at his alma mater, Harvard.
Originally a La Jolla, California native, Jones will be no stranger to the Santa Barbara area, having spent three seasons as head coach for the Santa Barbara City College men's volleyball program (Aug. 2013-Apr. 2016). Over that same stretch, he also served as both a director for the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club as well as the 18U Boys Head Coach.
"I couldn't be more excited about this new opportunity. I grew to love Santa Barbara in my time with SBCC and can't wait to get back to the awesome volleyball community in the area," Jones said. "I want to thank Nicole for the opportunity and I look forward to learning from her and current assistant, Chad Gatzlaff. I will work hard and hope to contribute immediately to increasing the success of the program."
Prior to his time at SBCC, Jones also spent time as the boys beach volleyball head coach at Laguna Blanca High School. In 2013, as a member of the Coast Volleyball Club, Jones was the head coach of a team that went 16-2 and an assistant coach on a team that went 18-1 and took the Bronze Medal at the 2013 Junior Olympics.
In October of 2012, Jones joined Luxembourg volleyball club Volley Bartreng as an outside hitter, becoming the first Harvard men's volleyball alumnus to sign a professional contract. That season, he helped the team make the playoffs for the first time in ten years, while also spending time coaching and tutoring members of the club's youth team.
During his time as a student-athlete at Harvard (Aug. 2008-May 2012), Jones was a key member of a Crimson team that received its first ever national ranking at No. 15 during his senior year. He also served as the team's captain during both his junior and senior seasons before being named First Team All-EIVA and making the EIVA All-Tournament Team in April of 2012. One month later, Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in applied mathematics and a focus in statistics.