Esai Velez-Perez Named Iona Volleyball Head Coach
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Iona College Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski has named Esai Velez-Perez the new head coach of the Maroon & Gold volleyball program. Velez-Perez comes to New Rochelle from Hofstra University on Long Island, NY. "We are beyond excited to welcome Esai Velez-Perez to New Rochelle as our new volleyball head coach." Glovaski notes, "We've had immense success in the program over recent years and Gael Nation should be enthusiastic to see Velez-Perez continuing to carry the torch." "This is a dream come true for me and my family in Puerto Rico. I am overjoyed to be named the head coach of the Iona volleyball program," commented Velez-Perez. "The sport of volleyball and working with outstanding student-athletes are my passions and I am honored to accept this role and to lead the Gaels. A special thank you to Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski and the entire administration at Iona College for entrusting me with this team." Velez-Perez continues, "This program is in a great place and Patric Santiago deserves an immense amount of credit for that. I look forward to getting on campus and engrossing myself within the Maroon & Gold community. Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't thank my special Hofstra family who have meant so much to me over the last five years. Thanks so much to Emily Mansur, Cindy Lewis, Jay Artinian, Rick Cole, and Jeff Hathaway for their advice and guidance." Velez-Perez joins Gael Nation after five seasons as an assistant coach with the Pride. Hofstra won two Colonial Athletics Association conference championships, the first in his debut year in 2014, and the second coming last season. The Pride won at least 18 games during his tenure, including 20+ games in four seasons. They had a 57-23 (.713) conference record and the program reached at least the CAA championship semifinals in each of Velez-Perez's seasons. While in Hempstead, Velez-Perez coached numerous Colonial award winners. In his five years, Velez-Perez helped coach 15 All-CAA Team members, including five First Team honorees. The Pride had five freshmen named to the CAA All-Rookie Team and had two named the conference Rookie of the Year. There were also three Setter of the Year award winners and one Player of the Year victor. The 2019 Pride volleyball program was honored with the NCAA Public Recognition Award as it had multi-year APRs in the top-10 of all teams within volleyball. It was the fourth time the program was recognized for the achievement. While at Hofstra, Velez-Perez also served as an admissions counselor where he aided the University in informational sessions, college fairs, campus tours, prospect interviews and the application process. Outside of collegiate volleyball, Velez-Perez brings a wealth of experience at the club and international level. Before joining the Pride, Velez-Perez spent five seasons as an assistant coach, scout and statistician for the Volleyball Federation of Puerto Rico. During his time, he was a part of one women's professional championship team in 2012 and two men's squads that raced to the finals. His duties with the organization included scouting national and international opponents, preparing both offensive and defensive game plans and forming individual practice plans for the athletes.