Ray Vance

16 Black Head Coach & Coach Mentor

Prominent Richmond-area club coach F. Ray Vance, was named the first full-time head men’s and women’s volleyball coach in the history of New Jersey City University in July, 2012 after a national search.

Vance’s most extensive experience is as a prominent club volleyball coach with the Richmond Volleyball Club (RVC) from 2009-12. In 2011-12, he was head coach of RVC’s 15’s National Team, which won six tournaments. From 2010-11 he guided the RVC 16’s Zonal Team, winning four tournaments, and coached the RVC 15’s Zonal Team in 2009-10. RVC received a Most Improved Team award in 2011.

Before coming to NJCU, Vance has over a decade’s experience on the Division I and club levels, and possesses a solid recruiting background.  Vance recently served as an assistant boy’s coach at Douglas Freeman High School in Richmond, Va. from 2010-11. The Rebels finished fourth in the state each season and won the 2011 AAA Colonial District tournament.

His previous collegiate position was as an assistant women’s volleyball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for three seasons (2001-03). The Rams won the Howard University Invitational during his time at VCU.

Vance began his coaching career at Frederick Community College as an assistant coach from 1993-98. The Cougars were nationally ranked twice during his tenure and ranked among the top three schools in the region in four of the five seasons.

In 2008-09, Vance was head coach of the VEER Volleyball Club 18’s squad and coached the 17’s in 2007-08. He began his career with the RVC club from 2002-03, coaching the 15’s national team that lost in the silver bracket at the national tournament after winning the boy’s east coast championship. The squad won the silver bracket in the 16’s age group at the Rochester Can-Am Bid Tournament. In all, the team won approximately 10 tournaments that season.  Vance also worked as the assistant coach for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 RVC 18’s national team; the 2002 club finished fifth in the national tournament.

Previous club coaching stops include the Frederick Juniors Volleyball Club (FJVC) in Maryland from 1995-98 as the girl’s head coach for 14’s, 16’s and 18’s. He also coached at camps at American University, VCU, and Frederick Community College and worked with the Gold Medalist Pat Powers Clinic Series.

Vance began his collegiate playing career at SUNY New Paltz, playing setter for the Hawks during the 1998-99 season for Coach Tony Bonilla. New Paltz went 19-13 and advanced to the EIVA Division III Final Four—the only team in that school’s history, dating to 1970, to be among the top four teams in the east. He received New Paltz’ Coaches Award and Most Improved Award for the 1999 season.

Vance was born in Portsmouth, Va. and is a previous resident of Henrico, Va. He currently resides in West Orange, NJ. He and his wife, Nicole, are parents of a four-year-old son, Conner, and are expecting their first daughter in February.

Discussing his coaching philosophy, Vance states: “We are going to be a ball control oriented team. It’s going to be relentless pursuit and playing smart volleyball. We are going to make fewer mistakes than the other team, we’re not going to beat ourselves. You have to be better than us to beat us.” 

Coaching PhilosophyExecution and teamwork are the keys to success and team greatness.

Favorite Quote“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing” ~ Vince Lombardi

Best Volleyball MomentPlaying in an exhibition match on the mall in DC with Karch Kiraly.

Favorite Sports Movie42

Favorite Subject in SchoolForeign languages

Last Book I ReadCross Country by James Paterson

Favorite Quality in an AthleteStrong work ethic