Head coach Bob Schneck has been the leader of the University of Rhode Island women’s volleyball program for the past 35 seasons. This year, he was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Coach of the Year.
Schneck’s most recent season ended on Saturday, Nov. 21, when his team lost 3-0 to St. Louis University in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals. Although ending prematurely the 2015 season was one to remember for Schneck as his program finished with 20 wins (20-9) for the first time since 1995-96.
“Up in Boston we had many of our players take part in an achievement challenge project adventure program to help develop camaraderie amongst the team this preseason,” Schneck said. “We attended the program for a full day and the girls were challenged immensely really coming together as a unit. I believe this was a major starting point this year’s success.”
Injuries plagued Rhode Island during the year and into the postseason, most notably with senior Franki Darnold, who was unable to compete in the postseason due to injury. Junior Layne Self also had to battle through ankle injuries during the end of the season. Under Schneck’s advisement the team showcased unity and played through adversity near the season’s end.
“Rachel Cox, who is now a sophomore and was a walk-on freshman last season did a great job filling in for Franki during tournament time,” Schneck said. “She is a prime example of our team’s mental toughness.”
During his University of Rhode Island tenure, Schneck continued to improve his program while remaining modest with gratitude while given accolades for his work. Schneck gives credit to everyone beside himself in the program’s recent success of reaching the A-10 tournament three times in recent history.
“Being named the A-10 Co-Coach of the Year is an absolute honor,” Schneck said. “I am more proud of our five players that received postseason awards. This is more of an achievement due to my players and great associates hard work that I am lucky enough to be a part of, especially Steve Santonastaso.”
In the last two seasons the women’s volleyball program has become one of the top programs the university has under the guidance of Coach Schneck. Thirty-five years in any career is quite a long and respectable tenure of dedication, consistency and hard work. Schneck seems to soak in every season he has had at URI, and wants to leave the program in good hands once his time is over.
“Not one person can do it in team sports, our girls and staff just do whatever it takes to win,” Schneck said “It has been a very diversified 35 years of a labor of love for me but I would never trade it for anything else. I am grateful for what this program has done for me and want to leave it in a position to continue growing. Steve [Santonastaso] would be a great fit to take my spot once my time here is done.”