Though head coach Ian Blanchard is only entering his fourth season at the helm of the womenís volleyball team at UMBC, the milestones continue to add up.
In his first season, Blanchardís star freshman, Sarah Ball, was honored with the America East Conference Volleyball Rookie of the Year award, becoming the Retrieversí first-ever recipient since joining the conference in 2003. During that inaugural season, Blanchard also coached Ball to seven conference Rookie of the Week awards, the most awards by a freshman in America East history.
One year later, Blanchardís new blood achieved the same feat. This time it was Ashley Oscars who received the Rookie of the Year award and earned seven Rookie of the Week awards, tying Ballís record for most weekly awards won in a season.
The accomplishments didnít end there however, as Blanchard led the Retrievers to their first-ever appearance in the America East Conference Tournament, and their first post-season competition since 2002, when they competed in the Northeast Conference Tournament. Ultimately the Retrievers ended up in the America East Championship and fell to
Blanchardís athletes are also rewriting the UMBC record books, with seven players accounting for 10 top 10 all-time single season marks and eight players placing their names on the all-time career records charts during Blanchardís tenure.
This past season, Blanchard coached the 2008 squad to a 20-12 overall record, the first time the Retrievers have recorded 20 wins in a season since notching 22 in 1998.
With an America East Championship appearance under his belt, Blanchard will look to add another milestone to his list in 2008 by claiming the America East crown.
Blanchard began coaching at the collegiate level as an assistant coach at
In addition to his collegiate experience, Blanchard has made a name for himself at the USAV Club level, directing the Orange Crush of the Time Out Volleyball Club for eight seasons from 1997-2004. Blanchardís team went undefeated in the USAV Chesapeake Region from 2000-2004 and placed fifth in 2003 and third in 2004 at the USAV National Championships.
Blanchard is a former social studies teacher at
Blanchard earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Westfield State College (1988), where he was a four-year member of
Blanchard is married with two children and resides in