March 19, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State and most recently Georgia Tech volleyball assistant coach Craig Bere has joined the University of Notre Dame in a similar role, veteran head coach Debbie Brown announced Wednesday.
Bere, who most recently spent five years at ACC foe Georgia Tech, replaces former Irish assistant Christy Pfeffenberger, who left to take the associate head coach position at Xavier, as spot she had held previously.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be joining the Notre Dame family and I appreciate Debbie giving me this opportunity,” said Bere. “Debbie is a proven leader and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what she has accomplished as a coach at Notre Dame. I can’t wait to get there and get started.”
Adding Bere, who has 18 years of Division I assistant coaching experience, gives Notre Dame one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the country and will compliment Brown’s 32 years, associate head coach Robin Davis’ 15 years and volunteer assistant coach Denise Van De Walle’s 34 years nicely.
“I’m so happy to welcome Craig to the Notre Dame volleyball family and our staff,” said Brown. “I was immediately comfortable with him during the interview process and I’m so excited for all that he will bring to our program. He is very well respected within the volleyball coaching community and is known for his strong work ethic, organizational skills, teaching skills and volleyball knowledge. His five years as an assistant in the Atlantic Coast Conference will be incredibly valuable to us, too. I’m most pleased, however, that he is simply known as a great person. I can’t wait for him to start.”
Bere comes to Notre Dame from Georgia Tech, where he instantly made an impact with the Yellow Jackets in 2009 by helping them qualify for their first NCAA Tournament in five years.
Working primarily with the setters, Bere helped coach standout Mary Ashley Tippins as she was named first-team all-ACC and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2009 and 2010. In addition to in-match duties, Bere assisted with scheduling, recruiting, academics and program special projects as well as other duties. He helped recruit the No. 25 signing class in the country according to PrepVolleyball.com in 2011 and challenged his student-athletes in the classroom as the program maintained a cumulative GPA that exceeded 3.0 each of his last four years.
Prior to arriving at Georgia Tech, Bere spent two seasons on the Louisville staff. In his final season at Louisville, the Cardinals received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by capturing the 2008 BIG EAST tournament title a year after finishing as runner-up.
An assistant coach at LSU for three seasons (2004-06), Bere was responsible for game strategy, recruiting and practice planning under LSU head coach Fran Flory. He helped guide the Tigers back to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 following a 13-year hiatus as LSU captured a share of its first Southeastern Conference Western Division title in school history. The following year, LSU repeated as SEC Western Division champions and made a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Under his tutelage, setters Daniela Romero and Heather Fierce both ranked in the top 10 in the league in assists per game, while LSU posted the fourth-best hitting percentage in the SEC in 2005.
Bere returned to Division I volleyball at LSU following a successful stint as the head coach at Southern Indiana, where he posted a 47-17 record in two seasons. He guided the Screaming Eagles to their first bid in the NCAA Division II Tournament after capturing the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament crown in 2002, and came within three points of a repeat GLVC title and tournament berth the following season. His .734 winning percentage at Southern Indiana still ranks as one of the best winning percentages in school history.
During his two years, Southern Indiana setter Kim Boehmer became the first Screaming Eagle to receive All-America honors when she was named to the honorable mention squad in 2002. She also received first-team All-GLVC honors in 2002 and 2003, while Kristi Kavanaugh earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
While earning a Bachelor of Arts in health education with a minor in coaching (1990-95) and a Master of Arts in physical education (1995-97) from Morehead State, Bere began his coaching career by serving as a student assistant in 1993 before being promoted to full-time assistant coach for the 1994 season. While on staff with the Eagles, Morehead State captured the 1993 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title and finished as the regular season runner-up in 1994. The Eagles also returned to the title match of the 1995 OVC Tournament, taking runner-up honors.
Following graduation, Bere accepted his first job out of college as an assistant coach with Mississippi State. With the Bulldogs, he served as an assistant coach from 1997-2001. There he was responsible for coordinating the Bulldog defense and working closely with the outside hitters. Bere also headed up the team’s recruiting efforts while performing additional administrative duties off the court.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Bere was a three-year letterwinner on the Morehead State football team and a six-year member of the men’s volleyball club squad, serving as head coach while earning his Master’s degree.
Bere is married to the former Shannon Krebs, and the couple has one son, Blake.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director