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Glenn Kiriyama enters his 16th season in the drivers seat of the Binghamton volleyball program and is the only coach the Bearcats have seen in it’s 12-year Division I history. The steady and calm influence that Kiriyama exudes has led to three America East championships and three conference Coach of the Year honors. After finishing in a tie for second in 2012, Kiriyama led the Bearcats to its third conference title and trip to the NCAA Volleyball Championship.
In his 15 seasons, he has produced six winning seasons and an overall mark of 232-230 (.502). During his decade in the America East he has compiled a record of 84-65 (.564), manufacturing a .500 or better season nine of the last ten years. Since 2003, Kiriyama has led all but two of his Bearcat squads to a postseason appearance, winning three titles in 2005, 2009 and 2012. He helped usher 15 student-athletes to America East first-team honors and ten all-rookie selections.
There were lofty expectations for the 2010 squad, chosen by the conference coaches to repeat as champions in the preseason. Kiriyama continued his blueprint of utilizing a daunting non-conference schedule to prepare for America East play. The Bearcats opened the 2010 season with Big-Ten power Michigan, playing in four preseason tournaments. Kiriyama played opponents from the Big East, the Ivy League and the MAAC in preparation for America East play.
Binghamton went 5-10 in non-conference play and dropped their America East opener to UMBC before rattling off five straight conference victories. Kiriyama led Binghamton to an early 5-1 conference record, holding the league’s top spot and defeating eventual champion Albany in the process. In a weekend home-and-home with Albany, the Bearcats dropped the second of the two games, followed by a defeat at the hands of nemesis UMBC. Binghamton ended the season on a four-game winning streak, going 9-3 in the conference and securing the two seed for the America East tournament. The postseason was short lived for the Bearcats as a stingy UMBC beat them for a third time in three sets.
Kiriyama had to replace over 2,600 kills after the 2010 season as the dynamic senior duo of Michelle McDonough and Anna Leijna departed due to graduation. Kiriyama witnessed McDonough and Leijna earn all-conference honors seven times as they helped secure a NCAA tournament bid in 2009.
The 2009 team won the program’s second America East Tournament Championship since 2005 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they played eventual National Champion Penn State. That season was the epitome of the Kiriyama’s blueprint of using a very challenging non-conference schedule to prepare the team for conference play and have the team peak at the right time.
Binghamton entered conference play with an 8-8 record and even stood at 3-5 in the America East before sweeping their final two conference games to earn the number three seed in the their sixth-straight conference postseason. The Bearcats swept second-seeded New Hampshire 3-0 in the semifinals before being matched up against top-seeded Albany on the Great Danes home court with the championship on the line. BU was able to jump out to a 2-0 lead and eventually won 3-1 to claim their second conference championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Bearcats drew top seeded Penn State and but lost as the Nittany Lions extending their NCAA record winning streak to 97 matches in front of nearly 3,000 fans.
Kiriyama earned his second America East Coach of the Year award in 2008 and brought the Bearcats to the conference championship game. The Bearcats were 16-15, (9-3 AE) and advanced to the four-team America East tournament for the fifth-consecutive season. Kiriyama was also able to develop a young team to their fullest potential, and landed three sophomores on the first-team all-conference squad. Kiriyama also posted Binghamton’s sixth-straight 15-plus win season at the Division I level last season.
The 2006 and 2007 Bearcat teams both made it to the conference tournament but were bounced in the semifinals. The 2006 team was 15-17 and the 2007 squad was 16-18.
2005 was a defining season in the history of Binghamton volleyball and was the kind of year that can help establish a program as a contender for years to come. Everything came together for a Bearcat squad that claimed its first America East title and became just the second Binghamton women’s team to earn a bid to play in the NCAA tournament.
On their way, the upstart Bearcats posted a program-best 20 victories and registered its best-ever regular season conference finish with a 10-2 mark - good for runner-up honors. The long list of firsts continued as a record five Bearcats earned all-conference recognition and Kiriyama was honored by his coaching colleagues with an America East Coach of the Year award for the first time in his career.
Binghamton concluded its first America East campaign with a 3-9 conference record, tying for fifth place in the seven-team league and finishing 10-20 overall. Despite the inevitable growing pains, the 2002 season did produce the program’s first conference all-star and one of the NCAA’s top shot-blockers in middle hitter Anne Crocus. Crocus led the America East in blocks per game with the ninth-highest figure in the nation and had second-most block assists among Division I players.
With a deeper and more versatile squad, the improvement continued in 2004. Binghamton overcame a mid-season injury to its two-time conference all-star and top middle Crocus and stretched its then-Division I best win total to 17 and in its third year of membership in the America East Conference, earned one of the league’s four bids to the conference championship.
After just two seasons getting acclimated to the heightened challenges and demands of volleyball’s highest collegiate level, Kiriyama guided the Bearcat program to 16 wins and its first winning season (16-15) at the Division-I level in 2003. After being picked to finish eighth in the now-eight team league (UMBC joined prior to 2003), Binghamton defied preseason expectations and continued its climb in the America East conference standings, finishing fifth.
In the team’s first season at the Division I level, Kiriyama led the Bearcats to an 11-12 mark as they gained valuable experience as an Independent before beginning America East competition in 2002.
Upon his arrival in 1999, Kiriyama promptly steered the program to a 47-20 record in his first two seasons, notching back-to-back ECAC Division II titles along the way.
Under Kiriyama, Binghamton players have enjoyed successes in the classroom as well. In 2006, Megan Hoag earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District I First-Team honors, was named to the America East All-Academic team, and was a finalist for the conference’s Woman of the Year award. In 2007, Kane collected an equally impressive list of accolades, garnering America East Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year honors, getting named to the all-academic team, and also earning the University’s nomination for the conference’s Woman of the Year award. McDonough continued the tradition of academic excellence in 2010 earning America East Scholar Athlete honors as well as being tabbed the University’s nominee for the conference’s Woman of the Year. She was also just he second volleyball player ever to be named to the all-academic team three straight seasons. Kiriyama has also had seven America East All-Academic team selections since 2006.
A California native, Kiriyama came to Binghamton by way of Eastern Illinois University, where he served four years as the top assistant for the Panthers. While there, he helped lead the program to three consecutive seasons of 20+ wins, including a 24-7 mark in 1998 that culminated in an Ohio Valley Conference championship.
Prior to assuming his post at Eastern Illinois, Kiriyama held assistant posts at Rutgers (1994-95), Stephen F. Austin State (1992-94) and New Mexico State (1990-92).
Kiriyama received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Brigham Young University in 1990, where he led the Cougars to the 1987 National Collegiate Club Volleyball Championship. He earned his master’s in education from Stephen F. Austin State in 1994.
Kiriyama is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and has directed numerous clinics and summer camps.
1999-Present: Binghamton, head coach
1995-99: Eastern Illinois, assistant coach
1994-95: Rutgers, assistant coach
1992-94: Stephen F. Austin, assistant coach
1990-92: New Mexico State, assistant coach