March 2, 2012
PITTSBURGH—Pitt women’s volleyball head coach Toby Rens has named Felix Hou an assistant with the Panthers' program. Hou will serve as the defensive coordinator and be in charge of scouting. Hou brings over 20 years of coaching experience on the collegiate, national and club levels.
“Felix is a superior technician of the game,” Rens said. “I know he will make a major contribution to our program. He has an outstanding track record of success in the ACC and that will help as we make our transition to that league in the future.”
Hou has extensive ties with the ACC, having served as an assistant coach at Miami (Fla.) the past four seasons. He worked specifically on the development of the hitters and serving strategies. In addition, Hou served as the recruiting coordinator and helped the Hurricanes advance to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments - the first in school history.
Under Hou in 2011, Miami captured its best regular-season record over a nine-year period. In addition, the `Canes posted their best league mark since joining the ACC (16-4) and received their first national ranking since the 2002 season.
In addition to Miami, Hou also held two assistant coaching stints at Maryland. He aided the program to six NCAA second round appearances and four ACC Championships over a nine-year span. Hou was on the sidelines with the Terrapins in 1997 when they captured an undefeated 25-0 regular season.
Prior to his first stint at Maryland, Hou was the head coach at UMBC (1999-2002). He guided the team in 2000 to a 19-13 record and the Northeast Conference (NEC) title en route to being named the league’s Coach of the Year. The squad repeated as conference champions in 2001. UMBC tallied a combined 69-52 overall record and 32-5 conference total in Hou’s four years at at the helm.
Hou was also the head coach of Iceland’s National Volleyball team (1991-93). He led the squad to a second-place finish in the Europe Small Countries Tournament in his first season. The team would also place third in both the Small Countries Olympic Games and the North Europe countries Tournament in 1992.
“Hou is outstanding hire,” Rens noted. “Felix has a vast knowledge of the game due to both playing and coaching at the highest levels internationally.”
Hou began his coaching career in 1987 as the head coach of the Beijing August-First Volleyball Club. In just one season the squad won the China National Cup and Munich German Tournament. Hou was later named the head coach of China’s Women’s Youth team (1986-88), Iceland University’s men’s and women’s teams (1988-91) and Columbia Volleyball Club (1995-97).
“Directly and indirectly, Felix has been a great mentor,” Rens, who formerly served as the head coach at Division I schools University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and LIU, stated. “I’m excited that our paths have crossed once again.” Hou played for the Chinese Men’s National Team for seven years and was awarded the China Player of the Year accolade twice. He assisted his team to first-place finishes in the Asian Championship (1979), Asian Games (1982) and the International Sport Military Council (CISM) (1982). His team qualified for the Olympics in 1980 but boycotted the events.
Hou earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Shanhai Physical Education Institute in 1986. He and his wife Li Cui have two daughters, Lucy and Mary.