Fairfield University volleyball head coach Todd Kress is the all-time winningest coach in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference volleyball history, as well as in Fairfield volleyball history. Kress has been a Division I coach for 24 seasons, and has been coaching at Fairfield for seven straight seasons after coaching other programs. In total, he has coached 333 games at Fairfield University.
Coach Kress attended the University of Cincinnati with the intention of becoming a sports broadcaster. After multiple job interviews he was given an opportunity he did not expect.
“I was a broadcasting major graduating from the University of Cincinnati. I was applying for a number of air positions,” Kress explained when speaking about the process of beginning his career. “Someone saw me play from the University of Cincinnati and asked me to be the assistant coach. I wasn’t really thinking about it much but I tried it to help out the players and team. I continued to assist in coaching and it led me to continue this career path.”
Kress has been a well rounded coach for many years. He began his career as an assistant volleyball coach for Thomas More University located in Kentucky. But, Fairfield University is where he began his head coaching career.
He has not only been able to complete many accomplishments this year, but when he coached the Fairfield Stags in 1995-1998, he was honored as the MAAC Coach of the year after leading the Stags to the first two MAAC Championships.
As a Fairfield volleyball coach, Todd Kress also received the award of American Volleyball Coaches Association District II Coach of the Year in 1998. He was given this award for leading the program to extreme wins which he continues to achieve till this day.
According to the official website of Fairfield Athletics, Coach Kress “ranks second in program history with a .688 winning percentage.”
After starting off his head coaching career with Fairfield University, he spent some years apart from the Stags and led the volleyball programs at Northern Illinois University, University of Buffalo and Florida State University.
Kress led the Northern Illinois University volleyball team in a successful direction when looking at their stats. During the year 2000, their record was 24-9 and 24-6 in 2001, leading them to a MAAC Championship and National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Due to these wonderful achievements, Kress was acknowledged as the 2001 MAAC Coach of the Year.
Kress led the University of Buffalo in 2019 to a great amount of victories and accomplishments. In the first few months of his career at Buffalo, he found a lot of success with the group, and was able to rebuild the program and mindsets of the players.
When returning to Fairfield, he had core values set for his team. “I’m big on trust, we all need to trust one another in order for a culture and system to work,” Kress explained. “Discipline is another value of mine. Where we try to get the most out of everything in the minute. We want the athletes to try their absolute best.”
Kress has an impressive record of 229-102 at Fairfield. As for his overall coaching career, the record is currently 463-297. The Fairfield Stags are 6-0 for their MAAC standings, and their win streak does not look like it will end any time soon.
In 2016, the Stags finished 18-0 in the MAAC regular season which made them the second team in the MAAC to ever finish with that record. The Stags volleyball team also competed the longest winning streak in the 2016 season, which lasted 22 matches long!
According to FairfieldStags.com, “the Stags were also the league’s most improved club with a six-win increase” Fairfield set the record of hitting their 11 MAAC Championships during the 2019 season being Kress’ sixth championship.
“I think the fact that I have been blessed with working with an incredible number of students. I have been around an incredible group of people everywhere,” Coach Kress explained when reflecting on the amazing distinction he was presented with. “I reflect on the people that I have had the opportunity to coach and be around.”
The global pandemic has been a challenge for all sports teams all around the world. The Fairfield volleyball team has tried to take advantage of the challenge and make the best out of what was available to them. It was not something that was going to stop Kress or the volleyball team from getting the job done.
They used this challenge as an opportunity to push themselves and grow their relationships with one another. As Kress stated, “We had to try to control the uncontrollable”.
Kress made sure the team stayed unified during these difficult times. “We still had to study game film, stay in contact with the team and keep relationships. We had to try to keep some normalcy and allow some aspects to be normal, which was still difficult,” Kress remarked referring to coronavirus’ impact on the volleyball team.
“In regards to long term affect you just stay appreciative to be in the gym whether they are good or bad. Don’t take anything for granted and appreciate our time in the gym because you never know when it can be taken away from you,” explained Kress when speaking about how they will overcome the challenges being faced throughout the season.
Kress sees a lot of success in his athletes and continues to push them to be their best. He hopes to continue leading the team to a great path and conquer the goals they have set for themselves.
The Fairfield Stags will be travelling to Hamden, Conn. to take on the Quinnipiac University Bobcats on March 28 with games slated for 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.