Alma Mater: Central Washington, 1993
With two conference championships and three NCAA Division II tournament appearances in a three-year span in the mid-2000s, seventeenth-year head coach Mario Andaya looks to guide the Wildcats back to the NCAA playoffs in 2012.
Andaya, who began his head coaching career with the Wildcats at the tender age of 24 prior to the 1996 season, is now the dean of Great Northwest Athletic Conference coaches. Having spent more than one-third of his life as Central’s volleyball mentor, Andaya, 40, has taken the Wildcats’ program from a 5-23 record in its first year as a NCAA Division II member (1998) and turned it into a perennial contender in both the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the West Region. Andaya is also the school’s all-time leader for career coaching victories with 245.
A former track and field standout at CWU in the long and triple jump, Andaya began assisting with the Wildcats’ volleyball program under his predecessor, the late John Pearson, in 1992. Spending two years as junior varsity head coach and two more as a varsity assistant to Pearson, Andaya was handed the reigns of the team before the school's next-to-last season in the NAIA in 1996.
Andaya proceeded to guide Central Washington through its final days in the NAIA to its three-year stay in the Pacific West Conference (1998-2000), and ultimately its move to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2001. Ten seasons at or above the .500 mark and three NCAA tournament appearances have resulted since joining the GNAC, and the Wildcats have had a .500 or better conference record every season since 1999.
In 2004, Central Washington won all 26 of its regular-season matches to become just the sixth school in NCAA Division II history to complete the regular season without a loss. After the team’s win streak reached 31 consecutive matches (including the final five matches of 2003) and the Wildcats had obtained their highest national ranking (11th) since joining the NCAA ranks, only a formidable Hawaii Pacific squad interfered with a potentially-extensive postseason run by CWU. The Wildcats’ success culminated with Andaya earning Great Northwest Athletic Conference and Pacific Region Coach of the Year honors.
A second straight conference championship followed in 2005 and, after receiving an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament, Andaya guided Central to its first postseason victory since 1991 with a five-game defeat of second-seeded Cal Poly Pomona. The Wildcats also came within one game of the regional championship match, losing to Cal State San Bernardino in five games in the regional semifinals.
After losing four senior starters, including two All-Americans, to graduation from the 2005 squad, Andaya took a youthful 2006 squad to a third straight postseason appearance and a third-place finish in the conference standings.
Over the course of those past seven seasons, seven Wildcats -- Kate Reome ’05, LeAnne McGahuey ’06, Crystal Ames ’06, Kristin Pasley ’07, Rachael Schurman ’09, Brandie Vea ‘11, and Kady Try '11 -- became the first NCAA All-Americans in school history. Reome was a third-team selection during her senior season of 2004, while McGahuey was a two-time selection, earning third team accolades as a junior and second team honors as a senior. Ames was a third team AVCA All-American pick following her senior season, while Pasley (2006), Schurman (2007), Vea (2008 and 2009), and Try (2010) were all tabbed as honorable mention selections.
A total of 58 Wildcat players have earned all-conference selections during Andaya’s previous 15 seasons. Twenty of those have been first-team all-league honorees, including two each in five of the past nine seasons in the GNAC.
Off the court, Andaya has coached 65 academic all-conference players during his tenure. In 2002, the Wildcats set a conference-record with eight selections to the GNAC Academic All-Conference team and posted the highest team grade-point average in the ten-team league.
Andaya, who grew up in Bothell, Washington, graduated from Central in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He is an active member of the AVCA, serving on its Division II national ranking committee.
Andaya, born September 9, 1971, resides in Ellensburg with his wife of 15 years, the former Molly Rettkowski (a former CWU volleyball standout). The couple has three children, sons Nathan (12) and Darius (6), and daughter Tia (10).
Started at CWU:
1996-Present: Central Washington University (Ellensburg, WA) -- Head Volleyball Coach
1993-1995: Central Washington University (Ellensburg, WA) -- Assistant Volleyball Coach
1993-1994: Central Washington University (Ellensburg, WA) -- Junior Varsity Volleyball Coach
1992: Central Washington University (Ellensburg, WA) -- Student Assistant Volleyball Coach
Central Washington University, 1993 -- B.S. in Business Management
Bothell High School (WA), 1989
ANDAYA'S YEAR-BY-YEAR COACHING RECORD AT CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY:
As a rodeo fan, former participant and practicing, boot-wearing cowboy, you’d expect Jack BishopTwelve Wildcats Claim Inaugural GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award
(by Bob Guptill, GNAC Information Director) PORTLAND, Ore. (July 19) -- A total of 140 Great Northwe