With the season opener against Hawaii (27-3 in 2014, 18-0 Big West) this Friday to kick off the Idaho volleyball’s first of three games in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, the team announced Kara Kiefer as the new assistant coach this month.
Kiefer begins her second stint at Idaho after spending the past three years as head coach for Club ZZU in Palouse, Washington. She was the Vandals’ director of operations for two years starting in 2011.
During her time coaching at the club level, she developed her coaching style and coached various levels of players.
In spite of starting coaching last week, Kiefer’s first impression of the team was positive as she sees a lot of progress on the team since last being with the team in 2012.
“We have a lot of talent and looking forward to where we go,” Kiefer said. “I think the goal that we have set for them is attainable and we are on track to be pretty successful,” Kiefer said.
Kiefer’s duties as Idaho’s director of operations involved booking traveling plans, organizing summer volleyball camps, tracking stats and helping coach Debbie Buchanan with film breakdown.
Aside from volleyball, Kiefer was the Idaho women’s basketball team-building coach.
She previously was the interim assistant coach at Washington State during the 2009-2010 season. She became the director of operations the next season.
A couple of the senior players were around in Kiefer’s first stint at Idaho when they were freshmen. Kiefer has seen the senior class grow into better leaders and set a good example to the younger players.
Long-term, Kiefer believes in the system Idaho has but would also want to help further develop the team to use the sport as a tool in real-life situations.
“It’s really easy for me to get onboard and be really supportive in what’s going on to encourage the girls and just put a perspective for them to grow,” Kiefer said. “My goal is to build good relationships and help them grow and develop and able to use volleyball as a teaching tool for the skill that they’re going to take on once volleyball is done.”
Kiefer began playing volleyball at elementary school. She went on to play at North Idaho College.
During her tenure as a Cardinal, she was first-team all-conference in 2004 and Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament MVP. Perhaps her biggest credential was earning Athlete of the Year for her performance in which she led the team to the conference championship and a 10th-place effort at nationals.
Kiefer then transferred to Tennessee State where she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2008. Kiefer ranks second in kills and digs for the Tigers and led the team to the 2005 Ohio Valley Conference Championship.
Three years ago, she earned her master’s in leadership development at Idaho.
Kiefer began coaching in her freshmen year of college. She coached Lakeland VBC (Rathrum, Idaho), IMPACT VBC (Nashville, Tennessee) and the Palouse Area Volleyball Club.
Luis Torres can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org