Dan Meske (pronounced MESS-key) is in his ninth season with the Huskers and fifth season as a full-time assistant. He was promoted prior to the 2011 season after serving as the team’s volunteer coach in 2009 and 2010. Meske also served as the team’s graduate manager in 2007 and 2008. Meske is in charge of coordinating the Huskers’ blocking and defense as well as video scouting, team managers and assisting with camps. On the court, he trains NU’s middle blockers.
In his eight seasons at Nebraska, Meske has helped the Huskers to a 216-44 record, three Big 12 Championships, a Big Ten Championship, eight NCAA Tournament appearances, six regional finals, and an appearance in the 2008 NCAA Semifinals. Meske has also helped oversee the inaugration and emergence of the Huskers' sand volleyball program. After starting the program from scratch in 2013, the Huskers turned a 7-7 dual record through the first two seasons into a remarkable 6-2 record in 2015. Both losses in 2015 came to the nation's top-two teams, as the Huskers moved into the realm of becoming a top-10 sand volleyball program in just three years.
In 2014, the Huskers reached their third straight regional final with the youngest team in school history and playing the second-toughest schedule in the nation. With only one senior, the Huskers showed great improvement down the stretch and finished 23-10, upsetting No. 3 Washington in Seattle to advance to the regional final. Under Meske's guidance, the Huskers finished 10th in the nation in total blocks (343.5) and second in the Big Ten in blocks per set (2.94). Middle blocker Cecilia Hall was second in the conference in blocks per set (1.45) and earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors, as did fellow middle blocker Meghan Haggerty, who ranked sixth in the Big Ten in blocks. Nebraska totaled 19.5 blocks in its NCAA first-round win over Hofstra, just one-half block shy of the school record for a three-set NCAA Tournament match.
In 2013, Meske helped guide a young Husker squad to a 26-7 record, second-place finish in the Big Ten Conference and a berth in the NCAA Lincoln Regional Final. Nebraska opened in a rotation featuring all first-or second-year Huskers in 29 of its 33 matches in 2013. His work with the middle blockers helped two Huskers record over 10 blocks in a match three times in 2013 and earn Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week accolades twice. Nebraska sophomore Cecilia Hall finished the year ranked third in the Big Ten in blocks, while sophomore Meghan Haggerty was ninth in the conference. The Huskers ranked 14th nationally in blocks per set with an average of 2.84, and all Husker middle blockers were either sophomores or freshmen.
In 2012, Meske helped the Huskers to a berth in the NCAA Regional Finals and a second-place finish in the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers posted a record of 26-7 improving their tournament record to 86-28 while making their 31st straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. In addition, Lauren Cook, Gina Mancuso and Hannah Werth all earned AVCA All-America honors. The Huskers also posted four All-Big Ten picks and seven academic All-Big Ten accolades.
During the 2011 season the Huskers made history with their first Big Ten Conference title as they won their 32nd overall conference crown. Nebraska recorded an overall record of 25-5 on the year. The team recorded its 30th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Mancuso captured first-team AVCA All-America honors, while Werth, Morgan Broekhuis and Cook were tabbed honorable-mention picks. NU notched five All-Big Ten picks as well as six academic All-Big Ten selections.
In 2010 the Huskers won their 12th Big 12 Conference title with an overall record of 29-3. Meske was key in the continued development of right side hitter Lindsey Licht, who earned second-team AVCA All-America accolades as a senior in 2010. She led the team in kills with 2.81 per set and was second in blocks with a career-best 1.05 per set.
During the 2009 season, Nebraska overcame a slow start to play its best volleyball down the stretch. The Huskers won 10 straight matches - all by sweep - before falling to eventual national runner-up Texas in the regional final. NU finished with a 26-7 record and was ranked fifth in the final AVCA poll. Following the season at the annual AVCA Convention, Meske earned the association’s inaugural AVCA Coaches 4 Coaches Scholarship Award.
Other Coaching Experience Meske has also been an active coach on the junior scene. From 2004 to 2009, Meske worked as a club and camp coach for Sports Performance Volleyball Club out of Chicago. Most notably, Meske led his Sports Performance 16s team to a club silver medal in the 2009 AAU National Championships. In 2012, Meske also led his vcNebraska 14s team to an open silver medal in the 2012 AAU National Championships.
Playing Experience Meske enjoyed a solid four-year career for Coach Pete Hanson at Ohio State. Meske appeared in 117 career matches for the Buckeyes, helping OSU to a national semifinal appearance in 2005. Ohio State won 88 matches and a pair of Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association titles during his four-year career. He was a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete during his collegiate career. Meske enjoyed his best campaign in 2007, helping the Buckeyes to a 23-4 record and a regular-season MIVA title. A starter at opposite, he ranked second on the squad in both kills (3.04) and digs (1.39) per set to earn second-team MIVA honors. He was named the Buckeye Power Club Award winner as the team’s lifter of the year and was selected as the team’s most-improved player.
For the first three seasons at Ohio State, he served as the team’s libero and defensive specialist, starting all 30 matches at libero in his first college season. He led the Buckeyes in both digs (198) and digs per set (2.04) in 2004.
After graduating from Ohio State, Meske spent a season playing professionally in Indonesia, helping BNI Taplus Volleyball to a regular-season title and a national runner-up finish in 2008.
A native of Willow Springs, Ill., Meske played three seasons at Lyons Township High School. He earned first-team all-state honors in 2003, after leading his team to a fourth-place finish at the state championship.
Meske received his bachelor’s degree in construction systems management from Ohio State in 2007, and received his master’s degree in leadership development from Nebraska in June of 2010.
Dan and his wife, Laurel, welcomed their first son, Ryne, in November of 2014.
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