A proven winner on the collegiate and professional levels, Dan Fisher was named the new head coach of the University of Pittsburgh women's volleyball program in January 2013.
In his first year, he led the Panthers to a winning first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing with a 19-14 record overall and 11-9 in ACC play. Ending the season tied at fifth in the league, the Panthers won seven of their last eight conference matches and enter 2014 looking to parlay that success into greater growth.
The Panthers led the ACC in service aces with a 1.60 aces per set average, which included two Panthers finishing the season ranked in the top five individually. Several Panthers earned individual accolades for their performances. Senior libero Delaney Clesen was one of only 36 top collegiate players selected to play for the USA Collegiate National Team, and amassed 1,000 career digs by the middle of the season; senior outside hitter Jessica Wynn was named a Third Team All-ACC performer, and three Panthers were named to the All-ACC Academic Volleyball team: sophomore Jenna Jacobson, redshirt sophomore Jenna Potts, and senior Lindsey Zitzke.
Fisher's primary duties are working with the team's setters and planning offensive systems and tactics.
Fisher joined Pitt one month after leading Concordia University to a 38-0 season and their first-ever NAIA National Championship. He was awarded the NAIA Tournament Coach of the Year for his perfect run through the postseason. In 2011, Fisher led Concordia to a national runner-up finish and was named the NAIA/AVCA National Coach of the Year. In his two years at Concordia, Fisher guided the Eagles women's volleyball program to an overall record of 75-2 (.974). While at Concordia, he coached six NAIA All-Americans, and the 2011 NAIA Player of the Year, Brooke Marino.
Fisher has also experienced success coaching on the professional level. In July of 2012, he was an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning women's USA National Pan Am Cup team.
"We are very excited to welcome Dan Fisher to Pitt to lead our volleyball program," Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. "Dan has a proven track record as a winner and brings a unique set of skills and background to this position. Volleyball is important to Pitt and we were committed to finding a coach to build upon the history and traditions of this program. I am grateful to Donna Sanft (Executive Associate Athletic Director), who led the search, and excited that it concluded with such a terrific coach. We look forward to working with Coach Fisher to help him achieve great things at Pitt."
"Dan is a great fit at this university," Donna Sanft said. "He has been a winner at every level as a player and a coach. He is a great leader who has high aspirations for our players athletically and academically. We are excited for the future of Pitt volleyball with Dan as our head coach."
From 2009-11, Fisher was the associate head coach for the University of Hawaii's men's volleyball team, one of the nation's elite programs. Fisher helped the Warriors earn a No. 4 national ranking in 2010 and coached three All-Americans during his tenure.
Fisher was the associate head women's volleyball coach at the University of San Francisco in 2007 and 2008. In his first season with the Dons, Fisher helped USF to a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference as the team earned an NCAA Tournament berth.
Upon his graduation from the University of Pacific in 1999, Fisher spent five years playing professionally in Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. He also spent five years on the AVP Professional Beach Volleyball Tour. Fisher then began his collegiate coaching career at his Alma Mater in 2004.
"It became clear to me throughout the interview process what a special place Pitt is," Fisher said. "From my wife and my daughter, we are all excited to make this move. I want to thank Steve Pederson and Donna Sanft for the work they did to make us feel at home."
With the inaugural ACC season in the rearview mirror, Fisher still understands the task before the Panthers. "The ACC is and will always be one of the top conferences in the nation," Fisher said. "To be a good team in the ACC means you are one of the best teams in the nation. Playing in that league will prepare our team for the NCAA Tournament."
Fisher earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of the Pacific in May of 1999 and a Master of Art in Sports Science from Pacific in 2008.
Fisher resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Joni and daughter Eden.