David Kniffin

UC Irvine Men’s Volleyball Coach David Kniffin

David Kniffin is the head men’s volleyball coach at UC Irvine. An innovative thinker, philosopher, and leader who has excelled as both player and coach.

He grew up in California where volleyball had no high profile or college teams recruiting players. But after spending two seasons playing professionally in Spain and helping organize international tours for American players who wished to compete overseas, he returned home as an organizer of international tours for American volleyballers looking for competition overseas.

Early Life and Education

David Kniffin serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Administration Officer at Lightpath, overseeing all financial and administrative operations to support its growth as an Ethernet-based telecommunications services provider. As a deep thinker, philosopher, leader with impeccable attention to detail he enjoys traveling widely while sharing his passion for all things telecom with those willing to listen.

David hails from Chico, California and graduated with pride from UC Irvine. A star both on and off the court, David led his school’s Anteaters to their inaugural top-tier ranking and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title as senior. Perhaps David’s greatest legacy will be how much better their lives have become as a result of their efforts.

Professional Career

David Kniffin has become the head coach of UC Irvine men’s volleyball, moving from being an unknown athlete to coaching at his alma mater despite considerable obstacles along his journey.

While at Chico High in California, he and his teammates had to rely on club volleyball. No major schools came calling and Loyola Marymount University showed some interest – that being his sole recruiter.

He later transferred to Los Angeles Pierce College, starting on their undefeated state championship squad and being recognized with first team All-State honors.

Kniffin went on to earn his Bachelor’s in Philosophy before playing professionally for CAI Voleibol Teruel of Spain for two seasons and teaching English classes, in addition to helping organize European tours for American volleyball players looking to compete abroad.

Achievement and Honors

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) presents Honors annually to recognize outstanding accomplishments by AAG members in research & scholarship, teaching & education, service to the discipline and public service outside academe – along with lifetime achievements – by way of research grants or honorary membership awards. AAG encourages nominations from members underrepresented within geography such as women, persons with disabilities, military/veteran statuses or veterans; gender identity/expression issues or sexual orientation and/or ethnicity issues.

On Monday, Kniffin returned to UC Irvine as head men’s volleyball coach following five seasons as an assistant coach under Bruce Speraw – earning him American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Men’s National Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2010. Additionally, Kniffin spent two professional seasons with CAI Voleibol Teruel in Spain helping win its division championship one season.

Personal Life

David Kniffin is an inquisitive thinker and philosopher who utilizes volleyball as a vehicle to teach more than just how to hit the net. In fact, his volleyball journey has allowed him to become an influential philanthropist, mentor and family man.

Lightpath appointed him Senior Vice President and Chief Administration Officer to manage finance and operations to support their growth as an Ethernet-based telecommunications provider. With more than two decades of finance and operational roles at Cablevision and Newsday under his belt, his expertise will prove invaluable in leading their men’s volleyball team at UC Irvine; as the new head coach for that team’s next title run. He holds a master’s degree in business administration.

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