Following a nationwide search, York University Athletics & Recreation announced on July 25 that former Olympic team head coach John May will be head coach of the Lions women’s volleyball program.
May, a former star on the Lions men’s volleyball team and Sport York Hall of Fame member, becomes the fifth head coach in program history.
After graduating from York with a bachelor of arts in sociology and coaching at the club level for a number of years, May began his Canadian Interuniverity Sports (CIS) coaching career at the University of Toronto where he led the women’s team to their first ever Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship in 1987. Following his coaching stint at U of T, May became involved with coaching beach volleyball at the national level, and was named head coach of the men’s beach volleyball Olympic team for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Most recently, May has been serving as the personal coach of the team of Kristina Valjas and Jamie Broder, one of Canada’s top-ranked female beach teams. The team was ranked 75th in the world when May took over as coach in 2013, and under his guidance they have grown into a top-10 ranked team in the world and recently qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“John is one of the elite volleyball coaches in the country and has an outstanding track record of building programs and developing athletes,” said Jennifer Myers, director of Athletics & Recreation at York. “He’s coached at the highest levels of the sport and he possesses the type of strong character and leadership skills we value at York. I have no doubt John will be a tremendous asset to not only the women’s volleyball program but to our entire Athletics & Recreation department. On behalf of everyone at York, we are thrilled to welcome John back to the Lions family.”
In addition to coaching, May’s volleyball resume includes: serving as president of Amotion Productions, Canada’s leader in the development and promotion of beach volleyball; serving as president of the FIVB’s Marketing Commission; and overseeing the execution of the beach volleyball event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He also developed Crush Volleyball, one of Canada’s most prolific volleyball clubs, which has developed a number of international-calibre players.
One of the most experienced and well-rounded volleyball minds in Canada, May is looking forward to coming back to where his lifelong passion for the sport of volleyball started.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be coming back to York,” said May. “I had an amazing experience as a student-athlete at York, which really laid the foundation for the passion I have for the sport of volleyball. I’m thrilled to be back on the York campus and for the opportunity to work with the next generation of Lions athletes.”
As a player, May led York to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) national championship tournament three times and won three OUA championships. He was named an OUA first-team all-star twice and was inducted into the Sport York Hall of Fame in 2008.
May will make his debut behind the bench when the Lions kick off the 2016-17 regular season at home on Friday, Oct. 28, against the Lakehead Thunderwolves.