A highly successful coach at every level she has worked, Trish Kissiar-Knight (Trish Knight is fine) enters her second season as the head coach of the Texas Tech volleyball program.
After a full first season under her belt as well as her first recruiting class arriving on campus, Knight appears to be set for success in Lubbock. With the signing of Brandy Huskey, Aubree Piper, Justine Young and a number of walk-on and transfer players, Knight set the stage for her transformation of the Tech program to a taller, more athletic and versitile team.
Knight joined the Texas Tech program on Jan. 3, 2009 after amassing a record of 676-170-3, earning 10 consecutive Region 16 championships and making 10 consecutive appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women's National Volleyball Championship tournament with the Missouri State-West Plains program she began in 1993.
Knight led the Lady Grizzlies to their first NJCAA national tournament in 1999, finishing eighth and after that, returned every season reaching the championship match in 2002 and 2003. She earned 12 Region 16 Coach of the Year honors, 10 NJCAA District Coach of the Year honors, two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Tachikara Junior College/Community College Midwest Region Coach-of-the-Year honors, and was elected to the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005. Knight also was named "Most Caring Coach" by USAToday Weekend Magazine in 2005, and, most recently, was inducted to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in February 2008.
She has developed 25 NJCAA All-Americans, including 13 first-team selections; and had eight NJCAA Academic All-Americans, including three Distinguished Academic All-Americans. Known for success in the classroom as well, her Grizzly squads received the NJCAA's Fall Academic Team of the Year honor four times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006). Inheriting a Texas Tech team which earned a spot on the 2009 AVCA Team Academic Award will help Knight immediately feel right at home with this team.
"We felt Trish was a great fit for our program," said Texas Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers, when introducing Knight as the sixth volleyball coach in the AIAW/NCAA era. "She is a proven coach on both the high school and junior college levels and we are excited to have someone of her experience and accomplishments to lead our program. We think she will be a great fit for Texas Tech and the Lubbock community."
Prior to leading the MSWP program, Knight coached at the high school level leading West Plains High School to four-consecutive state championships. She has served as coordinator of the Junior Olympic volleyball program and is very respected as one of the nation's leading developers of talent.
Former Nebraska head volleyball coach Terry Pettit said, "I have always admired Trish Knight's vision and toughness, a combination that has served her well as a head volleyball coach and will serve as a foundation for the program that she will build at Texas Tech. Make room because the Big 12 and Texas Tech just landed a great program builder."
Kissiar-Knight played four years at the former Southwest Missouri State University and was inducted into the SMSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.
She and her husband, Paul, reside in Lubbock with their sons, Ben and Dustin.