Jon Wallace is in his 18th year at the helm of the Santa Clara program in 2016. Wallace has solidified the Broncos as an annual top 25 program nationally and a regular participant in the NCAA Tournament. The program has reached 16 NCAA Tournaments (13 under Wallace), including a 2005 Final Four berth.
Wallace guided the team to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his first 10 seasons with the Broncos (1999-2008). Only 11 programs made all 10 NCAA Tournaments during that stretch, and only four of those came from outside of power conferences. He is a three-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year (2000, '05, '07) and won two national coach of the year awards in 2005.
Wallace is 346-191 (.644) during his career and boasts a record of 172-100 (.632) in West Coast Conference play. The Bronco head coach recorded his 300th career win in a 3-1 victory over Pepperdine on Oct. 16, 2014.
Santa Clara got off to its best start in program history at 9-0 in 2016. The Broncos upset No. 7 USC on the road during opening weekend; the Trojans are the highest-ranked team the Broncos have defeated in SCU regular season history. Following its ninth win, the team was ranked 17th in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll — its highest mark since 2006. The Broncos lost 2015 all-conference and all-region setter Kirsten Mead to injury after the sixth match of the year, and Mead missed 14 matches before returning to the lineup. They finished the season at 16-14 overall and 7-11 in conference play.
Nikki Hess was named First Team All-WCC for the third year in a row and Mead received an honorable mention nod. The Broncos had six all-academic honorees to lead the conference for the third season in a row (2015 indoor, 2016 beach, 2016 indoor).
The Broncos had an exceptional campaign in 2015; they went 22-9 (13-5 WCC) to finish with the fourth-best winning percentage for a single season in program history and reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. Their .710 overall winning percentage and .733 regular season winning percentage were the best marks since 2006, and their .722 conference winning percentage was the best mark since 2007. Santa Clara tied single-season program records with 11 home wins and 13 conference wins.
The team defeated No. 10 BYU on Sept. 26 for its first victory against a Top 10 opponent since 2005. Santa Clara had its first AVCA honorees since 2008 — an Honorable Mention All-American and First Team All-Pacific North Region selection in Hess, a First Team All-Pacific North Region selection in Mead and an All-Pacific North Region Honorable Mention selection in Danielle Rottman. The Broncos had a program record six players earn recognition as part of the WCC All-Academic awards.
Santa Clara posted an overall record of 22-10 in 2014, including a 12-6 mark in the WCC to finish third in conference. The Broncos earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament — the 15th bid in school history — and fell to No. 8 Oregon in the opening round. Santa Clara began the season at 9-1 and went on to notch four victories against Top 25 opponents and six victories over Top 50 opponents. Seven Broncos were honored on the all conference team, highlighted by a First Team All-WCC selection for Hess and Freshman of the Year honors for Mead. Taylor Milton, Sabrina Clayton and Rottman received All-WCC Honorable Mention honors while Kaity Edwards and Natasha Calkins were named to the WCC All-Freshman team. GiGi Cresto garnered WCC First Team All-Academic honors alongside All-Academic Honorable Mention selections Madison Dutra, Mary Shepherd and Katy Schatzman.
Four Bronco volleyball players were honored by the West Coast Conference as part of an 11-win season in 2013. Haley Cameron and Taylor Milton were both named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team and Hess and Sabrina Clayton were named to the WCC All-Freshman team. With Cameron headlining the First Team honorees list for the Broncos, the Broncos put three players on the 2013 WCC Volleyball All-Academic Team. Katherine Douglas and Katy Schatzman were also named to the Honorable Mention All-Academic Team.
In 2012 the Broncos advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 14th time in school history, falling to No. 8 Hawaii in the first round. Megan Anders was named to the WCC First Team and it was the 15th straight season the Santa Clara volleyball team has placed at least one player on the WCC First Team. In addition, Taylor Milton was named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team. Kayla Lommori was named to the 12-member All-Academic Team with two others being named Honorable Mention: Douglas and Schatzman.
With Dana Knudsen collecting All-WCC First Team honors in 2011, four were also named to the All-WCC Academic Team with Tanya Schmidt, Kayla Lommori, Alexandra Palmer and Kaleigh Durket collecting the classroom honors. In addition to being a Rhodes Scholar finalist, Schmidt was named the WCC Scholar-Athlete Female of the Year as she also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She was also awarded the St. Clare Medal at graduation in June, the fourth straight year a female Bronco student-athlete has received the award.
Wallace led the Broncos to 14 wins in 2010 with Schmidt picking up All-WCC First Team honors and Dana Knudsen and Kaleigh Durket were honored on the All-WCC Honorable Mention team. Schmidt was named to the Fall All-WCC Academic First Team and Knudsen and Kayla Lommori were named Honorable Mention.
In 2009 Santa Clara missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years, finishing at 17-12 and 7-7 in the WCC. Bronco senior Lindsy Davigeadono was named to the All-WCC First Team by the league's volleyball coaches and Knudsen was named to the WCC All-Freshman team and also to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team. Davigeadono and Knudsen were also both named to the Fall All-WCC Academic First Team with Libby Morrison, Bridget O'Hara and Schmidt all named Honorable Mention.
In 2008 Wallace saw his team advance to the 10th straight NCAA Tournament behind three-time All-American Anna Cmyalo. Cmyalo finished her career as the school's leader in block assists with 399. She was also in the top 10 of five career categories, including No. 2 in hitting percentage (.365). In addition to Cmyalo's first-team All-WCC honors, Lindsy Davigeadono and Brittney Lowe were both named All-WCC Honorable Mention; and Tanya Schmidt was named to the All-WCC Freshman team. The team finished the year at 18-10 and No. 25 nationally in the final poll. The team led the WCC in both blocks and service aces in 2008.
Under the tutelage of Wallace in 2007, the Broncos compiled a 19-12 overall record and won their fifth West Coast Conference championship with an 11-3 mark. SCU also made the program's 10th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Wallace received his third WCC Coach of the Year honors, while senior setter Crystal Matich was named WCC Player of the Year and an AVCA All-American honorable mention. Matich became just the fourth Bronco and third in Wallace's tenure to earn the league's MVP, while freshman Krista Kelley was named WCC Freshman of the Year.
In 2006, Wallace led the Broncos to a 20-8 record and the team's ninth-straight NCAA Tournament berth, while also reaching a milestone of his own. With Santa Clara's seventh win of the year, a 3-2 come-from-behind effort against San Jose State, Wallace collected the 163rd victory of his SCU coaching career, making him the winningest volleyball coach in Santa Clara history.
The 2005 season turned out to be Wallace's most successful to date, as he was named the Pacific Region Coach of the Year and Volleyball Magazine's National Coach of the Year after guiding the Broncos to an overall record of 27-5 and into the Final Four for the first time in school history. In addition, he led SCU to a West Coast Conference championship and into the Top 10 of the AVCA Top 25 poll, another program first. Santa Clara ended the season ranked No. 4 in the country, its highest finish ever in the AVCA Poll.
Since arriving on the Mission Campus in 1999, Wallace has directed Santa Clara to 10 straight winning campaigns that each culminated in a postseason berth, while averaging almost 22 wins annually. His career mark currently stands at 213-88 (.708) overall, 106-34 (.757) in the West Coast Conference, and he has produced 87 all-league honorees.
Wallace began turning heads in his first year as a Division I head coach in 1999, leading the Broncos to 21 wins and establishing a program first by advancing in the postseason to the NCAA Tournament second round. The following season became one of the program's best ever. With construction of the Leavey Center concluding, the Broncos opened 2000 with a 15-match road trip. They returned a 14-1 record and a No. 16 national ranking, a first for the program in seven years. Despite being picked by league coaches to finish third in a preseason poll, Santa Clara defeated Pepperdine in the final WCC match of the season to win the title, the Broncos' first since 1993. League coaches then awarded SCU a sweep of the WCC's top four awards. Wallace was named the league's Coach of the Year while guiding senior Ynez Carrasco to Player and Defender of the Year honors, and Becky Potter to Freshman of the Year accolades. Additionally, Wallace earned his 35th career win during the season, becoming the fastest coach in WCC history to reach that plateau.
That squad finished with 27 wins, broke two NCAA single-season records--for kills average (19.33) and assists average (17.87)--and hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, marking another first for the program. Individually, Roz Pelayo's career average of 14.01 assists per game set a national record.
The momentum continued into the 2001 season, as Santa Clara earned a preseason ranking for the first time in program history and remained in the national poll through the regular season. Wallace's squad won 19 matches, including the school's first victory over perennial power UC Santa Barbara in 17 seasons. In conference play, he again outdid the preseason poll that picked the Broncos third with a second-place league finish. Additionally, the squad finished ranked nationally in team assists, kills and digs, and boasted five All-WCC performers. Once again, Wallace coached a top setter, this time in Kelli Sousa, who ranked seventh in the NCAA with a 13.67 per-game average.
Wallace guided the 2002 Broncos to a 24-7 overall record and a 12-2 mark in the WCC. The .794 winning percentage was the second highest in program history. Under his direction, Potter and Sousa shone in the national spotlight, as Potter became the program's first-ever All-American, and Sousa set an NCAA record while leading the nation in assists. The past four seasons have seen Wallace maintain one of the top volleyball programs in the nation, and the accolades from 2005 include five All-WCC honorees and three AVCA All-Americans in Cassie Perret (First Team), and Anna Cmaylo and Crystal Matich (Third Team).
Wallace developed an excellent coaching reputation as an assistant coach at Pepperdine. In his seven years in Malibu, he helped lead the Waves to a 113-88 record, including a 65-33 mark in the WCC. The program advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Championship in his final season.
As a collegiate player at UC Santa Barbara, Wallace was a team captain in 1988 and `89, while earning second-team All-American and All-Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Association honors. As a junior, he directed the Gauchos to the NCAA Championship match, where UCSB fell to USC in a memorable five-game contest. He was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament team and garnered third-team All-WIVA and honorable mention All-America accolades.
Wallace began his coaching career in 1989 at Corona del Mar High School, where he began the girls' junior varsity program. In 1990, he moved on to Orange Coast Community College in Newport Beach, where he served two years as the assistant men's volleyball coach and helped lead the Pirates to two California State Community College Championships. He moved on to Golden West Community College, where he served as the head coach in 1992 and `93, and directed the Rustlers to the California State Community College Championship in his second season.
While coaching, Wallace also played professionally. He was a starting setter for Nike, the 1990 and `91 U.S. Volleyball Association champion and also played in Switzerland. Additionally, he set for Team OP in 1994 on the popular Bud Light Four-Man Beach Tour, earning the league's Best Defensive Player award after leading the circuit in digs.
In a show of respect and a demonstration of the respect and friendships that Wallace maintains with many of his coaching colleagues, he had the honor of officiating the wedding of friend and former University of Portland volleyball coach Doug Sparks.
Wallace earned his bachelor's degree in economics from UC Santa Barbara in 1989 and followed with a master's in education from Azusa Pacific in 1995. A native of Newport Beach, he is married to the former Nancy Mariani, a member of the 1991 and `92 Bronco squads. The couple has a son, Joseph David, and two daughters, Whitney and Madeline. The family resides in Los Gatos.