It is seventh time--and second year in a row--that a Trojan has been National Player of the Year.
Trojans have been in 2 of past 3 NCAA Final Fours.
USC senior plays key role for U.S.
Jeff Nygaard, a 3-time Olympian in indoor and beach volleyball and a 2-time collegiate MVP while playing on a pair of NCAA championship teams at UCLA, is in his fifth season as an assistant coach with the USC men's volleyball team. He works with the middle blockers. He joined the Trojan staff in July of 2010.
Nygaard, 42, played on the pro beach tour from 2001 to 2011, earning AVP MVP honors in 2003 when he and Dain Blanton were named AVP Team of the Year. He has won 7 AVP tourneys and an FIVB event while earning more than $480,000. He captured a beach tourney for 4 consecutive years (2002-05), including an AVP-best 3 victories in 2003.
The 6-8 Nygaard was a middle blocker on the U.S. National Team from 1993 to 2000 and represented the U.S. in 3 Olympics. He was a member of the indoor team at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and teamed with Blanton on the beach in the 2004 Olympics. He also helped the U.S. win a bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships.
He played on the 1999 and 2001 Los Angeles Athletic Club teams coached by Ferguson that won the U.S. Men's Open national titles.
As a 4-year (1992-95) starter at UCLA, Nygaard was the first collegiate men's player to be named National Player of the Year in 2 consecutive seasons when he did so in 1994 and 1995. He was also the National and Conference Freshman of the Year in 1992. He was a 3-time (1993-95) All-American and All-Conference first teamer. He helped the Bruins to the 1993 NCAA title, setting an NCAA tourney record by hitting .867 in the semifinals and earning NCAA All-Tournament co-MVP honors. In 1994, he set UCLA season records with 650 kills while averaging 6.98 kills per match as the Bruins advanced to the NCAA championship match, where he made the NCAA All-Tourney team. The 1995 UCLA team won the NCAA title while posting a 31-1 record (going undefeated in league play) and he was named NCAA All-Tournament MVP. His 123 career aces set a school record.
He received his bachelor's degree in English from UCLA in 1995 and began work on his master's in English at Whittier.
He helped La Follette High in Madison (Wisc.) to the 1987 and 1989 state championships and a runner-up finish in 1988.
Nygaard was a volunteer assistant coach with the UCLA men's team for 3 seasons (2002-04). He spent 2009 as an assistant women's coach at Whittier.
He was born on Aug. 3, 1972. He and his wife, Renee, have 2 daughters, Sophia, 8, and Elena, 5.