Rick Squiers completed his 17th season as the University of Nebraska at Kearney head volleyball coach with the end of the 2015 campaign.
He is the third head coach in school history, following Patty Sitorius and Rosella Meier.
In 17 years at the helm, Squiers has led UNK to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, three Elite Eight appearances, 12 RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference)/MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) regular season crowns, seven RMAC/MIAA tournament titles and a 299-18 home mark.
The Iowa native and nine-time RMAC/MIAA Coach of the Year is 536-79 in his UNK tenure, good for a winning percentage of 87 percent.
In 23 years as a college (four year institutions only) head coach, Squiers has a record of 742-138, a winning percentage of 84 percent. Including a year at a junior college and two seasons at the high school level, his overall mark stands at 843-172 over 26 seasons.10927
Continuing the Lopers long tradition of success in the sport, Squiers has seen 16 different players earn All-American honors at least once in their careers. That includes right side Annie Wolfe, who was tabbed in 2015.
In 2005, Kearney native Erin Gudmundson was named the AVCA Division II National Player of the Year. She is one of five Loper middle hitters, since 2000, to earn All-American honors.
Squiers has also seen 17 others make the All-Region team with 42 different Lopers earning All-RMAC or All-MIAA honors the past 17 years.
The Lopers dominated the RMAC individual awards in the Squiers era, earning the Player of the Year, Setter of the Year and Freshman of the Year multiple times.
Academically, middle hitter Kelli Brummer earned Academic All-American honors in 2001 and was one of 35 UNK players to make the Academic All-RMAC squad in the Squiers era. In 2008 and 2009, middle Nikki Scott was voted the RMAC Academic Player of the Year.
The 2012 season marked a change for all UNK teams as the Lopers moved into the MIAA. Loper volleyball didn't miss a beat, winning both the regular season and tournament titles en route to a 35-3 record and a No. 3 national ranking.
Having three All-Americans, the Lopers reached the Sweet 16 where only six-time defending national champ Concordia-St. Paul stopped them.
Seven years earlier, UNK went 38-2 and finished as national runners up, falling to Grand Valley State (Mich.), 3-1, in the national title match.
The Lopers went 19-0 in the RMAC for the second straight year as well as winning a second straight RMAC Tournament.
UNK hosted the Elite Eight, drawing record crowds to the Health & Sports Center. A crowd of 5,025 watched the Loper-Grand Valley match. UNK saw a three-year, 66-match win home court win streak stopped by the Lakers on that December day.
The 2004 campaign was one of the most successful campaigns not only in UNK history but Division II history as well.
The Lopers became the seventh team in D2 history to go through the regular season unbeaten (33-0), were ranked No. 1 in the nation for 12 straight weeks and advanced to the national semifinals.
A slew of individuals honors included four Lopers earning AVCA All-American honors. Squiers earned his second RMAC Coach of the Year honor while repeating as Region Coach of the Year.
Squiers also was tabbed as the Southwest Region Coach of the Year and then, in the summer of 2004, was chosen as the Omaha World Herald’s State College Coach of the Year for women’s sports.9732.
He had a tremendous first year at UNK. The 1999 team posted a 30-4 mark, were regular season and RMAC tournament champions and went 17-0 at home.
Brummer led the way individually as she was named RMAC Player of the Year and earned first-team All-American honors.
Prior to UNK, Squiers was head coach at Hastings College, a school that Sitorius coached at before UNK. In his tenure, Squiers’ teams posted a 206-59 record and averaged 34 wins a year.
From 1993-98, his teams were a fixture in the NAIA polls. In three of those years (1994, 1996 and 1998), Hastings qualified for the NAIA National Tournament.
The Broncos also collected three Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference (NIAC) championships (1996-1998). In each of the years Hastings won the league, Squiers was named the NIAC COY.
While he had many successful teams, the 1996 squad was special in two regards. First, it set a school record for victories in a season (42). Next, it won the AVCA Academic Award. Academic and All-American honors were nothing new to Hastings players.
Sixteen Broncos earned Academic All-American status under Squiers leadership with four more gaining All-American status.
Before Hastings, Squiers was the head coach at Seward County J.C. in Liberal, Kans. In 1992, he led the Lady Saints to a 28-23 record.
Squiers first volleyball coaching job came at Remsem Saint Mary High in Remsen, Ia. In two years, his teams went 73-11, won two conference titles with Squiers being named league Coach of the Year in 1990.
His coaching career actually began in men’s basketball as he was a graduate assistant at Wyoming in 1989. Squiers also coached basketball at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D.
Graduating in 1988 with a degree in physical education from Simpson College in Indianola, Ia., Squiers received his Master’s degree in physical education, emphasizing in administration, from Wyoming the following year.
Squiers lives in Kearney with his wife, Kim. They have six children; Jordan, Rebecca, David, Madison, Anna and Callie.
Jordan (volleyball) and Rebecca (basketball) were college student-athletes with David currently a member of the Loper football team and Madison a volleyball player at Bellevue University (Neb.).