Weiner’s 500th win

Head volleyball coach Bob Weiner records his 500th Collegiate game win

The Keene State volleyball team broke their five-game losing streak and made it one for the books. Longtime Head Coach Bob Weiner earned his 500th win since he started coaching at Keene State College in 2005. Weiner is on his 12th season.

Weiner said that the long road to his 500th win started two weeks ago. “My 500th win began two Saturdays ago when we beat Mount Holyoke [College], and that was 499, and then we had Plymouth [State University] the following Wednesday. It went along, but we didn’t win and it was frustrating,” he said.

Weiner continued, “Then we had a weekend match with Framingham State University and W[orcestor] P[olytechnic] I[nstitute], which we didn’t play very well because of the Plymouth loss. We then had Western New England [University] last Thursday and we played okay, but they played better.”

Weiner recorded the 500th win against Maine Maritime Academy on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Weiner stressed that the road to 500 effected him in ways that he didn’t want it to.

Colton McCraken/ Equinox Staff

Colton McCraken/ Equinox Staff

In the years that Weiner has been coaching at Keene State, they never had a five-game losing streak. Weiner said, “But then, we got to Maine Maritime, and here’s the thing. It has affected me in ways I didn’t want it to affect me.”

He continued, “I didn’t want it to affect the season, but I will admit when playing Maine Maritime the last game of the season, had we beaten Eastern Connecticut, I wanted to let some of the kids on the bench time to play. I wanted to give some kids some time, but instead, I found myself pushing for a win because we have lost five in a row and that has never happened since I’ve been here and I wanted to be past it.”

Senior Leslie Hearns has been playing under Weiner since she entered Keene State in 2013.

”It has been a great experience [being coached by Weiner]. He has showed me how to work with different types of players.”

Hearns continued, “We come from team[s] with a lot of diversity, so he’s showed me how to work well with everyone. Instead of just getting used to the same players, he changes things up so you don’t rely on that one person to get the job done. It builds trust within the court.”

Weiner keeps up with his athletes on and off the court.

Hearns said he cares about you as a person and can help with almost anything, whether it’s school-related or a more personal matter.

“I want my players to learn things. I want my players to grow as people. The hazardous trip from 18 to 21 [years old] is best done with lots of stuff, lots of activities to keep your mind focused. I want to watch people grow up and then I want to get some wins,” Weiner said.

Senior Taylor Bright is a transfer student from California.

“Since I transferred, I’ve only had him [Weiner] as a coach for two years, but it has been interesting. Going from such a large group of seniors last year who were all starters to a smaller group this year, the expectations have been a lot higher of us this year, especially with a large group of first-years. Coach is always pushing us and it may not always be in the way we want, but in the end we learn from it,” Bright said.

Weiner was the first male coach that she has ever had.

“It’s different in that there’s a difference in how we are treated. When it was a female, they were a lot more apt to be firm and hard on us, and with coach, he takes a softer approach to start and if we aren’t getting things done, he becomes more firm,” Bright said.

Weiner mentioned that it is different being a male coach to a female sport.

“I was talking to my assistant Liz Buckley and she was saying up until she came to college, she always had women coaches,” Weiner said.

He continued, “I said, ‘how is that different?’…I want my female players to be comfortable with me. There’s no weird stuff going on, but in order to ensure that I have to take a step back and I’ve done so emotionally, I have to let my athletes come to me as people and then we can communicate,” Weiner said.

After achieving the 500th win, Weiner said he was relaxed.

Tim Smith/ Photo Editor

Tim Smith/ Photo Editor

“There was this really cool thing that happened. I had mentioned it three weeks ago to maybe one or two of our captains and no one else, [but] this isn’t about me. A bunch of women played for me and won the matches, and I just say, ‘Go here,’ [and], ‘Do this.’ That’s all I do, and after a win or loss, we huddle on the court and I walked into the huddle and I was prepared to say, ‘I don’t know if you guys know this but…’ and they gave me a ball…and a clipboard and I was totally blown away,” Weiner said.

The lady Owls said if they didn’t win the game then they were going to burn the clipboard.

“…It was time and I agreed with them. I think they might have known the decisions I was making. I didn’t want to be selfish about it, but we needed a win,” Weiner said.

According to the Keene Owls’ website, Weiner led the Owls into uncharted territory when he arrived in 2005.

Directing the Owls to a first-ever appearance in the 2005 Little East Conference (LEC) championship match, he then coached KSC in back-to-back, 25 victory seasons and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament ap­pearances, as well as a first-ever LEC regular season title in 2007.

Weiner and the Owls’ served up an unforgettable 2008 season when he was named LEC Coach of the Year and posted a program best 29-9 (6-0 LEC) in addition to capturing the program’s first LEC title and NCAA berth.

Weiner is in the midst of his 28th season of collegiate coaching. Weiner came to Keene State after being the sports information director at Pine Manor College.

He also held the position of head women’s volleyball coach at Iona College in New York, As­sumption College in Massachusetts, Montana State-Northern University, Macalester Col­lege in Minnesota and Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.

Weiner was the first varsity coach at Franklin Pierce University and led the 1992 and 1993 Ravens to ECAC tournament berths.

Weiner received his degree in theatre from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of California-Irvine.

Weiner said his next goal is 600. “When I hit 600, I don’t care if it’s in the middle of the season, I’m giving my clipboard to my assistant and I’m going out and having a cold one. That’s the last one,” he said.

Shelby Iava can be contacted at Siava@kscequinox.com

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