Jan. 16, 2014
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina head volleyball coach Jozsef Forman has named Ivana Rich and Antonio Pavlov the program’s new assistant coaches. Rich and Pavlov both bring extensive NCAA coaching experience to CCU while Pavlov adds an international coaching background as well.
Rich will serve as the domestic recruiting coordinator as well as coach the defense and work with the middle blockers. Pavlov will serve as the international recruiting coordinator as well as coach the offense. He will work specifically with the setters and outside hitters.
Rich spent the last three seasons as head coach at Division II Virginia State University. Rich took over the VSU volleyball program with a philosophy based on the core goal of using volleyball as an instrument to become a better student-athlete as well as a better person. The Trojans were 10-17 overall and 8-8 in CIAA play during her first season in 2011. In just a short period of time, Rich set the groundwork for a successful program. In 2012, she led the Trojans to a 15-12 overall record and 13-3 conference record. The Trojans finished second in the CIAA Northern Division and had five players named to an All-CIAA team. Rich guided her team to 14 wins during the regular season, the most wins by a VSU volleyball team since the 2004 season. Rich made a name for herself at VSU and in the community taking advantage of every opportunity to give back. Rich was a recipient of the 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Minority Scholarship. In her final year at VSU, she led the team to a 17-11 record and a 14-2 mark in conference play. The team captured a CIAA Northern Division title and had five all-conference selections including the 2013 CIAA Rookie of the Year.
"I am thrilled to be joining the Chanticleer volleyball staff,” said Rich. “It is a privilege to assist coach Forman in continuing the tradition of excellence at Coastal Carolina University. This volleyball program has a bright future ahead and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Prior to VSU, Rich served as the volunteer assistant coach at Chowan University, helping lead them to a CIAA championship in 2010. In addition to her assistant coaching experience, Rich also coached club volleyball at MidAtlantic Volleyball Club in Midlothian, Virginia and various camps at Virginia Commonwealth University and Tusculum College.
“I'm really excited that Ivana is joining us,” said Forman. “She was a great student, player and captain during her college career. Certainly her work ethic with three years head coaching experience is a great addition to our program. She is an incredible role model for our student-athletes.”
Rich played four years as a part of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) women’s volleyball program playing both middle blocker and right-side hitter. As a senior and captain of the VCU team, she help lead the Lady Rams to their first regular season conference championship in school history and the 65th best RPI in the nation. During her tenure at VCU, she was awarded All-CAA first team (2008), All-CAA second team (2009), All-CAA tournament team (2009) and COBRA Magazine All-National third team (2009). Rich also broke two school records, the VCU all-time blocks record, finishing with a total of 384 blocks in 117 career matches and the single season hitting percentage record charting .332.
Rich received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in sport management from Virginia State University.
Rich, a native of Cumberland County, Virginia, comes from a family “rich” in athletics. Her oldest brother, Diamand Rich played football for Shenandoah University and her youngest brother, Jule Rich, is entering his junior season on the track & field team at North Carolina State University. Her father, Alfonso Belle, coached football for over twenty years at Cumberland High School and semi-professional football. Rich is also the daughter of Dr. Michelle Belle, the recipient of the first Doctoral degree from Virginia State University. Rich is a legacy member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Pavlov brings seven years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level and four years from the international level.
“It is a great honor to be part of the Coastal Carolina University family,” said Pavlov. “I will use all my experience and knowledge to help the volleyball program reach the top of the Big South. I have witnessed how just in the last two years thanks to the coach Forman’s leadership and the support of the entire athletic department, the volleyball program stood firmly on the map of NCAA Division I volleyball. I am convinced that the greatest successes of volleyball are ahead and I want to be part of it.”
Pavlov served for two years at Chicago State University as the program's associate head coach and at the same time he was the founder, owner and director of the Chicago Volleyball Academy Junior Volleyball Club. One of his recruits was named Great West Conference first team in 2012.
“We are fortunate to have Toni (Antonio), who has college and international coaching and recruiting experience,” said coach Forman. “His charisma and ability to connect to people are going to lend him to be a great mentor and recruiter. He will bring energy and lots of fun to our program.”
Before starting the Chicago Volleyball Academy, Pavlov spent the 2008-09 school year as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University where he organized and supervised daily practices, scouted and recruited domestic and international players and helped the Rams advance from seventh to second place in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 20-12 record in 2008. He cultivated two first team All-Conference players and one Player of the Year.
Pavlov also worked as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock for five seasons (2003-2008) in which he was in charge of coaching the setters and was the recruiting coordinator. During his tenure at UALR, the Trojans improved their RPI ranking from 87th to 64th and finished third in the Sun Belt Conference four times. Over the years of Pavlov’s employment five Trojans recruited by him were chosen for the Sun Belt Conference first team and one was chosen as a Sun Belt MVP (2007-2008 season).
On the international circuit, Pavlov was the head coach for the Malta men’s volleyball national team from 2000-02 and guided the nation to reach the top four of the 2000 Small Nations Olympic Games in San Marino, Italy for its best finish in program history.
In 1998-1999, Pavlov was the CEO (Secretary General) of the Bulgarian Volleyball Federation. During his employment the Bulgarian Men’s National Volleyball Team and the Bulgarian Women’s National Volleyball Team were ranked ninth and 12th in the World, respectively. In 1998, the Bulgarian Men’s National Team finished sixth in the World Volleyball league.
From 1995-1997, Pavlov was in charge of the National Sports Academy’s “Bulgarian Olympic Volleyball Talent” program. He recruited a number of high profile athletes. Most of them were a vital part of the Bulgarian Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams.
From 1992-1994, Pavlov was the head coach of the professional women’s Volleyball Club “Kydon” in Greece. Under his management the team advanced from the minor “A-2” to the highest “A-1” Professional Greek League.
Pavlov has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria and master’s degree in health science and sports management from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He speaks six languages (English, Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Italian and Greek). He is married to Mariya Manova, who graduated from Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and they have 6-year old son Alexander.