by J.R. Gonsalves
Assistant Sports Editor
Jack Coberly, head coach for the University of La Verne men’s volleyball team, was looking for an assistant volleyball coach for the majority of the season.
“I was set on going through the entire season without an assistant,” said Coberly.
On March 10, Coberly’s search was over, when Rob Sneider finally arrived, two days removed from Switzerland.
Sneider had been playing professional volleyball in Switzerland, and during a phone call with his father, he was told that the University of La Verne men’s volleyball team had been having a good season, and was looking for a new assistant.
Sneider played for the Leopards from 1996-97. As a player at La Verne, Sneider was the only male volleyball player to ever be named as an All-American, he was an All-American twice.
Sneider also had a .288 career hitting percentage as a Leopard. He played in 49 matches over his two-year career at La Verne, and he accumulated 834 kills, 31 solo blocks, 129 block assists and 124 digs.
Before Sneider played at La Verne, he started at the opposite position at Long Beach City College.
While Sneider was in Switzerland, he had his father inform Coberly that he would be willing to help the team in any way possible.
Sneider finally returned from Switzerland March 8 and showed up, to the surprise of the players, right before the match with George Mason had started.
“Everyone was surprised to see me, and when they found out that I was the assistant coach they were even more surprised,” said Sneider, who helped coach the Leopards to their first win of the season over a Division I team, George Mason.
While in Switzerland, Sneider played and started for Volley Butschwil.
“It was great,” said Sneider of Switzerland. “The volleyball was different. We only practiced twice a week, and the trainer was not always there.”
Sneider received around $500 a month while in Switzerland, along with free room and board.
“The pay wasn’t that great, but it was worth it to play professionally,” said Sneider.
Sneider will receive $600 for the remainder of the season with the Leopards, and as assistant coach, he will travel with the Leopards to Massachusetts, if they qualify for the Division III playoffs.
“At first, he was just helping with minor things with the team, but lately I have been giving him more responsibilities,” said Coberly during a practice last week that Sneider had been running.
“The players already respect him as a player, and now they are starting to respect him as a coach,” said Coberly, who feels that Sneider is a major positive for the team.
Sneider is a positive, because the Leopards have only lost one of five matches he has helped coach. With wins over Division I teams like George Mason and No. 15 San Diego State.
Maybe Sneider has a touch of luck, or maybe he is just an inspiration to the team, either way he has made a solid contribution to Leopards volleyball, now his goal is the playoffs.