Gandara Accepts Head Job At Miami
March 20, 2013
SEATTLE - Washington assistant coach Jose "Keno" Gandara was officially named the Head Women's Volleyball Coach at the University of Miami today, a next step in his coaching career that included the past eight seasons at UW. Gandara will begin the transition to his first NCAA head coaching position immediately.
Husky Head Coach Jim McLaughlin expressed gratitude for the impact Gandara made at Washington, while wholeheartedly supporting the move. "I'm excited for Keno and the University of Miami. I'm happy he'll have the chance to impact a number of lives as a coach."
McLaughlin and Gandara go back a long ways, as McLaughlin coached Gandara on the 1991 USA Pan American Team. "I want to thank him for his contributions to UW Volleyball, because he has helped us every day, and I thank him for his friendship," said McLaughlin. "He's ready for this step, and he'll do a great job."
Heavily involved in opponent scouting, Gandara focused specially on Washington's blocking, which just led the NCAA in blocks per set for 2012 with a total of 3.36 per set, led by Amanda Gil who led the NCAA individually with 1.82 blocks per set. Gandara worked with Husky All-America middle blockers such as Bianca Rowland, Jessica Swarbrick, and Alesha Deesing.
"I am very aware that Washington Volleyball is a special place," said Gandara. "I am who I am today in a big part because of Jim, Leslie (Gabriel), the staff and players at UW. I've gained tremendously from my experience here and I hope that it's worked both ways.
A native of Puerto Rico, the move to Miami will take Gandara closer to family. He and wife Stephanie welcomed their first son, Lucas, in 2011.
"Ultimately I knew I wanted to be a head coach, and my experience here allowed me to be ready and make the move when I found the right match," said Gandara. "I will certainly never forget my time here and Jim and Leslie will always be mentors to me. It was difficult to leave due to where this program is at with the players returning and the ones coming in and the excitement of the Final Four in Seattle, but as I learned more about Miami, I was convinced it was the right move."