The 2007 campaign was the second in which former Gator All-American Jenny (Manz) Theis roamed the sidelines at Florida matches wearing a coaching polo instead of a playing uniform.
With international playing experience and a previous coaching stint at Northwestern, Theis, who is married to UF assistant coach Ryan Theis, brings an enormous wealth of knowledge and coaching expertise to the Gator staff.
A two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American, Theis is one of the most decorated players in Florida history. An opposite hitter, she was a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year (1998-99) and still ranks third in career kills (1,657) and points (1,963.5), while also co-owning the school record for most kills in a match (35).
"These years as a ‘returning Gator’ have brought back many great memories and it feels wonderful to be home," Theis said. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such talented athletes. It's truly an honor to be here in Gainesville and to be in orange and blue again."
After graduating from Florida with a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science in 2000, Theis played professionally in the United States and in Greece. She began by participating on the United States Professional Volleyball League Dream Team in 2000 and 2001 before moving on to the St. Louis Quest in the USPVL, where she played outside hitter and libero from 2001-02.
In 2002-03, Theis traveled overseas, continuing her career with Club Z.A.O.N. - a professional volleyball league in Kiffisia, Greece.
Upon returning to the U.S., Theis became an assistant coach at Northwestern. While with the Wildcats for three seasons (2003-05), Theis met her future husband and helped former Gator assistant-turned-head coach Keylor Chan revitalize the Northwestern program. Her responsibilities included training outside and right-side hitters, recruiting, team travel and assisting in the marketing and organization of home events.
Theis helped guide the Wildcats to a pair of NCAA Championship berths, and the Wildcats' record of 20-12 in 2005 was the program's best since 1997. Her efforts culminated with the Wildcats receiving an at-large bid to the 2005 NCAA Championships, where they advanced to the second round for the first time in school history.
Before embarking on her coaching career, Manz helped propel the Gators to three Final Fours in her four seasons in Gainesville - the only stretch in school history when UF advanced to three Final Fours in four years.
She became just the second individual in SEC history to be named the conference's Player of the Year twic,e and the third in Gator history to earn All-America honors in multiple seasons. Theis also holds more than 30 Florida school records.
A native of Orange Park, Fla., Theis and her husband, Ryan, reside in Gainesville.
Theis At A Glance
Hometown: Orange Park, Fla.
* B.S. Exercise and Sport Science, University of Florida, 2000
* Assistant Coach, Northwestern University, 2003-05
* Volunteer Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2006-Present
* University of Florida, 1996-99
First-team AVCA All-American (1998)
Second-team AVCA All-American (1999)
Two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year (1998-99)
Three-time NCAA Championship All-Region team (1997-99)
Three-time AVCA All-District (1997-99)
Three-time All-SEC (1997-99)
* Dream Team (USPVL), 2000-01
* St. Louis Quest (USPVL), 2001-02
* Club Z.A.O.N. (Greece), 2002-03
* Husband: Ryan