Nick MacRae, Alan Knipe
Long Beach State

Long Beach State’s Alan Knipe, Nick MacRae Win National Awards

Tuesday was a very good day for the Long Beach State men’s volleyball coaching staff, as head coach Alan Knipe won the AVCA National Coach of the Year award and Nick MacRae won the AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year award. It was also announced by Long Beach State that Knipe had been signed to a five-year extension.

Knipe said he was pleased with the award but downplayed its significance.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers,” said Knipe. “I wish it was an award that had our whole staff’s names on it.”

He was more excited to see MacRae recognized. The Wilson, LBCC, and Long Beach State alum was recognized as one of the AVCA’s 30 Under 30 coaches earlier this year.

“Nick works so hard, he’s so positive and he spends so much time working on his craft, I’m really happy for him,” said Knipe. “It’s great to have an award that will follow your name around like that.”

Knipe won the award last year as well, and former assistant Tyler Hildebrand won last year’s Assistant Coach of the Year before going on to take a position at Nebraska.

Another point of pride for Knipe with his coaching staff is that all six coaches for the 49ers are alums of the university, with he, MacRae, Scott Touzinsky, McKay Smith, and Paul Munoz all having come through Long Beach State.

The other good news for Knipe (and 49er fans) was the announcement that he’s been signed to an extension that runs through 2023. Knipe was actually coaching this year on an expiring contract.

This week is obviously the focus for the team and school, but the future is bright for the 49ers with five All-Americans coming back next season and the NCAA Final Four taking place in the Pyramid next spring.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.