Ken Ko, a dynamic recruiter and a passionate coach who has made a noticeable impact at each of his coaching stops, enters his second season as an assistant volleyball coach at the University of Florida.
A 14-year coaching veteran with nine years of experience at the collegiate level, Ko coordinates the Gators’ recruiting efforts, works with the team’s outside hitters, assists head coach Mary Wise with the setters and helps to coordinate the squad’s serve-receive and offensive scheme.
Under Ko’s direction, a young group of Florida outside hitters helped the Gators rank second in the Southeastern Conference in kills per set with 13.47 during the 2008 campaign. Freshmen Kristy Jaeckel and Colleen Ward thrived, ranking second (2.91) and third (2.30) on the team in kills per set, respectively. Both were named to the league’s All-Freshman Team last season and Jaeckel ranks fifth all-time in kills (300) and kills per set (2.91) by a freshman in school history.
“It is an incredible experience to be a part of Florida’s volleyball family,” Ko said. “The tradition, the support, and the pursuit of excellence at every level make it a joy to come to work everyday. I am thankful and honored for the opportunity to be a Florida Gator.”
Ko arrived in Gainesville prior to the start of the 2008 season after a two-year stint as associate head coach at Washington State University. Prior to his promotion, Ko served as an assistant on the Cougar staff in 2005.
During his time in Pullman, Ko’s duties included coordinating the team’s defensive and blocking schemes, leading WSU to the Pacific-10 Conference team blocking title and a top-10 national ranking in 2005. He also was part of a youth movement at Washington State, as four of his pupils were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team in just three years on the job.
Eight Washington State players were also named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Team during Ko’s tenure at WSU, while 10 Cougars were honored by the University for their academic achievements.
Ko’s other collegiate stops include a three-year term at Cal State Fullerton from 2002-04, where he served as the Big West Conference Assistant Coach representative to the American Volleyball Coaches Association and helped guide the Titans to a school-record 11 home wins in 2004. He also served single-year appointments at San Francisco and Colgate, respectively.
Ko has also made a name for himself in the USA Volleyball program most recently acting as a coach for the 2009 Select A1 Team that competed in the 2009 High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale. In the 2006 High Performance Championship, Ko acted as co-head coach of the Junior National A2 Blue Team that took fourth in the international division. He also took on assistant coach duties for the Junior National A2 Team in both 2005 and 2006, in addition to serving as a court coach at the Junior National Team tryouts and development camps at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ko started his coaching career at Miramonte High School in Orinda, Calif., where he held the title of girls head coach and program director from 1995-2000 before assuming the same role with the boys program in 2001. Named the Contra Costa Times Coach of the Year in 1998, Ko guided the Miramonte girls team to a 151-24 overall record and four league titles. The squad also won the CIF section crown and advanced to the state semifinals in 1996.
While at Miramonte, Ko aided in the development of Nicole Branagh, a two-time All-American at Minnesota and the 2005 AVP Tour Rookie of the Year. Branagh was a member of the U.S. National Team from 2001-03, winning a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in her final year with the squad. She also was a member of the United States’ No. 2 beach volleyball team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
He also worked with the Golden Bear Volleyball Club in Berkeley, Calif., from 1999 2002, helping lead the Forefront 18s to a 13th-place showing at the 2001 Junior National Championships in Salt Lake City.
A 1993 graduate of UC Davis, Ko earned a bachelor of science in physical education with an emphasis in biomechanics, while also playing three seasons as an outside hitter for the Aggies’ varsity men’s volleyball team. Following his graduation, he worked in the field of physical therapy in Oakland from 1993-2000.
Ko At A Glance
Hometown: Oakland, Calif.
- B.S. Physical Education (Biomechanics), UC Davis, 1993
- Head Coach and Program Director, Miramonte High School, 1995-2000
- Volunteer Assistant Coach, University of San Francisco, 2000
- Head Boys Coach and Program Director, Miramonte High School, 2001
- Assistant Coach, Colgate University, 2001
- Assistant Coach, Cal State Fullerton, 2002-04
- Assistant Coach, Washington State University, 2005
- Associate Head Coach, Washington State University, 2006-07
- Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2008-Present
National Team Experience:
- Co-Head Coach, Junior National A2 Blue Team, 2006
- Assistant Coach, Junior National A2 Team, 2005-06
- UC Davis, 1991-93