Rod Wilde, a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic gold medal team and a NCAA champion as both a player and coach, has been named as the new assistant coach with the University of Wisconsin volleyball program, coach Pete Waite announced today. He will join the badger staff in August after completing his responsibilities with USA Volleyball.

“I’m really happy that we’re adding someone of Rod’s caliber to our staff,” said Waite. “He brings a wealth of experience to our program that we’ll all be able to benefit from. He’s been competing and coaching internationally for over 20 years, so he knows what it takes to be a champion. The NCAA is now following the international rules, so his experience will help us adjust to the rally scoring system this season.

“His current position as manager of the USA High Performance Program gives him knowledge of the best up-and-coming young players in the country. Rod fits our needs perfectly and we’re looking forward to having him here with us in Madison.”

Wilde, 44, was a member of the United States volleyball team that won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. A member of the U.S. National Team from 1982-84 and again from 1989-91, Wilde also served as an assistant coach with the U.S. men’s national team from 1993-2000. He was selected as an assistant coach to both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams. He also aided the U.S. to a bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships. In 1999, Wilde was the head coach of the U.S. Pan-American team.

The current manager of the High Performance Programs with U.S.A. Volleyball (USAV), Wilde oversees all aspects of the USAV programs for high school athletes including the Junior and Youth national teams.

Wilde was a three-time all-American at Pepperdine University, setting the Waves to the 1978 NCAA Championship. He returned to Pepperdine as the men’s head coach from 1985-87 leading the Waves to the 1986 NCAA Championship. Wilde also served as the head men’s coach at UC San Diego from 1991-93 and as the head women’s coach at Drake University from 1984-85.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to be associated with the caliber of program that Wisconsin offers,” said Wilde. “I’ve had the chance to work on the highest level on the men’s side and was fortunate enough to win an NCAA national championship. This, along with coaching in two Olympics, helps me prepare for the highly competitive arena that the Big 10 Conference offers. I hope to be able use these past experiences to help the Wisconsin program attain the goal of winning a national championship.”

Wilde is a 1980 graduate of Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a minor in physical education. He is a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and his wife, Kris (Hey), is a native of Milwaukee. She was an all-state volleyball and basketball player at Wauwatosa East High School and led the Red Raiders to the Wisconsin state high school titles in both volleyball and basketball in 1980.

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