Earlier this month, Vice President for Athletics Paul Schlickmann officially named Nancy Somera to be the next head coach of the Fairfield University women’s volleyball program. Somera will succeed longtime head coach Todd Kress, who stepped down in January to pursue another head coaching opportunity at San Jose State University.
Somera comes to Fairfield as her latest stop in a long and illustrious career in collegiate volleyball, both on the court and on the sidelines. As a student-athlete at the University of Southern California, she was a two-time all-conference selection and contributed to a Trojans team that reached the Final Four in 1985, according to an official press release from fairfieldstags.com.
Upon graduating from Southern California, Somera spent eight seasons as an assistant coach before receiving her head coaching breakthrough in 1999 for Oregon State University. Two years later in 2001, she would go on to lead the team to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 18 years.
Somera remained at Oregon State until 2005 when she took over as head coach for the University of South Carolina. There she guided the team for two years before taking a break away from collegiate volleyball.
Somera returned to the sport in 2014 as head coach of Division III Johnson & Wales University, and is fresh off the heels of a remarkable seven-year stint with the University. After her first season, Somera began a run of six straight conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, earning Division III National Coach of the Year honors in 2017. She also served as Assistant Athletic Director during her time at Johnson & Wales, positioning her as a tremendous asset to Fairfield’s athletics department at large.
“I believe Fairfield’s growing academic reputation nationally, along with its emphasis on the holistic development of its students, will attract top talent to the program,” Somera told Fairfieldstags.com. “I look forward to growing the program’s strong tradition of success.”
Doing so will provide Somera with a significant challenge in her new role after years of dominance under departing head coach Todd Kress. Between his two stints as head coach at Fairfield, Kress is the all-time winningest coach in both university and MAAC conference history, and just this past season led the Stags to the tenth regular season conference championship of his tenure.
However, given Somera’s long track record of excellence in the collegiate sphere, fans of the Stags should have much to look forward to as this new era of Fairfield Volleyball begins.