|Hometown:||Santa Barbara, Calif.|
Chris Tamas (pronounced Thomas) joined the Nebraska volleyball staff as an assistant coach in May 2015. He came to the Huskers from Cal Poly along with his wife, Jennifer (Joines) Tamas, who is a volunteer assistant for NU. Tamas was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cal Poly from 2013-14. He primarily oversees Nebraska's middle blockers, coordinates blocking defense and scouting reports and assists in recruiting.
Tamas' impact on the program was felt immediately, as the Huskers won the 2015 NCAA Division I National Championship in Tamas' first season on the bench. With Tamas guiding the Huskers' block and defense, Amber Rolfzen was an AVCA second-team All-American and an All-Big Ten middle blocker. The Huskers posted the top opponent hitting percentage in the Big Ten (.167) and were second in blocks per set (2.94). Rolfzen's 1.58 blocks per set ranked fourth in the nation and was the highest block total by a Husker since 2005.
Tamas is a former U.S. Men's National Team captain and had Big Ten experience before joining Nebraska, as he spent two years as an assistant at Minnesota.
"Chris really stood out to us because of his playing experience with the U.S. National Team and that he's played under some great coaches," Head Coach John Cook said. "He has been in the Big Ten, so he's familiar with the conference and what it takes to compete at this level. He's also been at two programs in rebuilding modes in UC Riverside and Cal Poly, and that's when you really learn how to coach. I admire the fact that he helped rebuild a program basically from scratch, a program that is ready to take off after the players he brought in."
In Tamas' first season at Cal Poly in 2013, the Mustangs posted an eight-win improvement over 2012. Tamas' seven-player recruiting class in 2014 was ranked 23rd nationally by PrepVolleyball.com, and the Mustangs' top hitter, setter and blocker in 2014 were all freshmen, including Big West Conference All-Freshman Team member Raeann Greisen (3.55 kills per set). The Mustangs regularly started five of the seven freshmen Tamas helped bring in.
As an assistant coach at Minnesota from 2011-12, he helped lead the Golden Gophers to an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance in 2011 and an Elite Eight showing in 2012. In addition to scouting, Tamas was tasked with training Minnesota’s setters, and the Golden Gophers finished the 2012 season with the Big Ten Conference’s top offense and ranked eighth nationally in kills per set. With Minnesota, Tamas worked under Hugh McCutcheon, who directed the United States Men’s National Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the U.S. women’s team to a silver medal in 2012. Prior to his time with Minnesota, Tamas spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at UC Riverside under 2008 Olympic assistant coach Ron Larsen.
Tamas was a 2003 graduate of Pacific with a degree in sports sciences. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and a unanimous AVCA All-America first team selection and team Most Valuable Player during his 2003 senior season, Tamas remains first in program history in assists (5,086), third in assists per set (13.46), fourth in service aces (84), 10th in digs (498) and 14th in total bocks (221). In four years with the United States Men’s National Team (1999, 2003, 2005-06), Tamas made 34 appearances and in 1999 helped the squad to a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Havana. As national team captain in 2003, Tamas helped lead the United States to a bronze medal at the World University Games in Daegu, South Korea.
A training camp invitee for the United States squad that eventually captured the 2008 Olympic gold medal, Tamas also helped U.S. sides to silver at the 2005 World Grand Champions Cup in Japan and, as a setter, to a gold at the 2006 NORCECA Championships in Mexicali, Mexico.
As a professional, Tamas competed for six years overseas with clubs Protect Eye Orion (Netherlands), Antigos Alunos (Portugal), Real Grupo (Spain), Erdemir (Turkey), Dionysos (Cyprus) and Isku (Finland). In Finland and Cyprus, Tamas helped his clubs to national cup championships.