Volleyball Staff Completed

Jason Tanaka has joined the TCU Volleyball staff.

Feb. 26, 2002

FORT WORTH, Texas - Jason Tanaka and Barbara Kovacs have been named assistant volleyball coaches, TCU volleyball coach Prentice Lewis announced Monday.

"Jason Tanaka is an incredible technical trainer and has a great reputation as a great recruiter," noted Lewis. "He brings energy, consistency and experience to our program. Barbara Kovacs' biggest attribute is her work ethic," continued Lewis. "She displays it in everything she does. I'm pleased to have her with her international connections working with the program."

Tanaka joins the Horned Frogs' staff after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh. While with the Panthers, Tanaka's responsibilities included coordinating the team's training and assisting with the recruiting efforts. He additionally was responsible for match preparation as well as coordinating all statistics.

Tanaka joined Pittsburgh after serving two seasons at Baylor from 1998-99. He helped lead the Bears to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and a school-record 26-9 overall mark in 1999. Baylor, which finished that season ranked 20th nationally, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but fell to eventual champion Penn State.

Prior to his stop at Baylor, Tanaka spent one season at his alma mater, Arizona, as a volunteer assistant. As an undergraduate at Arizona, Tanaka served as a manager under Head Coach David Rubio from 1994-1997.

Tanaka began his coaching career in 1991 when he was appointed head coach of the Huntington Beach freshman volleyball team in Huntington, Calif. He later went on to serve as an assistant for the school's varsity squad which won two CIF division I titles.

Tanaka additionally has several years of experience working at camps throughout the country. He served as the director of the Brian Hosfeld Volleyball Camp in 1999 and worked primarily with the setters at the David Rubio Camp. He was also the head coach of the Club Cactus Juniors and an assistant with the Magnum Volleyball Club. In 1998, Tanaka served as the tournament director of the Cactus Classic, a tournament featuring over 80 teams.

A 1997 graduate of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in communications, Tanaka received his associate's degree in general education from Orange Coast Community College in 1994.

"I'm excited about the opportunities at TCU and to work with such an enthusiastic staff," said Tanaka. "I know Prentice came from a good program at Florida and the fact that she played on a national championship team at Long Beach State, she'll help TCU move in the right direction. I'm glad to be coming back to Texas," he added.

Kovacs has been part of the TCU volleyball program as an assistant coach since 1998. She joined the VolleyFrogs staff after a successful four-year playing career at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

During her collegiate career, the Hungarian-born Kovacs led the Patriots to four NCAA tournaments. In 1995, George Mason defeated Indiana in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Nebraska in the second round. She was a three-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection and finished her career as one of the top statistical performers in Patriots' history.

Kovacs earned her bachelor's degree from George Mason in international studies in 1997 and earned a Masters of Liberal Arts degree from TCU in 2000.

"I am extremely excited for TCU Volleyball," said Kovacs. "Prentice and Jason both have worked with great programs and athletes in the past and for a young team like us, it will be a enormous advantage. There is a lot of energy among the staff that will carry on to the volleyball court."

"Our goal is to win games and to change the vision to become a winning program," said Lewis. "Both of those things will come through a strong work ethic and consistency. I want the team to have fun and compete, and they're already working hard in the gym. Our staff is excited to be a part of the TCU family."

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