HEAD VOLLEYBALL COACH BILL LANG
Entering the sixteenth season as the head coach at Ironwood Ridge, Bill Lang has built the Nighthawks volleyball program into not only the top program in Southern Arizona, but one that consistently contends at the highest level in the State. Lang was also the school's first Men's Volleyball coach (2001-05, 2009-16) as well as the head coach for the new Beach Volleyball program
In the last ten seasons alone, Lang has guided the Nighthawks to nine 5A Region Championships and eight appearances in the 5A (Division II) State semifinals. The Nighthawks have won a combined 296 matches during this ten-year stretch, including a 137-7 regulation record over Southern Arizona competition and a 17-10 record in the State Tournament.
Last season, Lang recorded his 400th career victory with the Nighthawks. He is currently the winningst volleyball coach among active high school coaches and trails only Rincon's Juanita Kingston (455 wins, 1988-2010) as Tucson's all-time winningst volleyball coach.
While at Ironwood Ridge, Lang has mentored five Player of the Year players that include former Nighthawks Jordan Weatherless (2014; Illinois State), Kennedy Kurtz (2013; Sacramento State), Michaela Christiaansen (2010; Pepperdine/South Carolina); Christina Solverson (2007; Auburn), and Michelle McLain (2004); along with 28 first team All-Region selections and seven All-State players. In 2010, Christiaansen became a two-time 5A All-State first team player as becoming the program’s first player to be selected on the six-member All-Arizona Team. He has been named Coach of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 as well as the Arizona Coach of the Year by the Arizona Coaches Association in 2004 (girls) and in 2004 and 2005 (boys).
Off the court, the Nighthawks have been just as impressive in the classroom by maintaining one of the highest GPA’s of all athletic teams. Ironwood Ridge has earned the national All-Academic Team honors from the America Volleyball Coaches Association during every varsity season, 2002-16. Ironwood Ridge Volleyball players also receive Scholar Athlete Awards as well from the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
Lang’s career record with the women's team stands at 417-193 entering the 2017 campaign, including a 146-20 region record and an impressive 127-18 home record where Ironwood Ridge has been the most dominant. Creating a unique home court advantage has been one of the coach’s strategic plans since starting the program. In 2010, Ironwood Ridge was named the “Best Home Court Advantage” in the nation by prepvolleyball.com, a national online publication, crediting the 7th Man Club (formerly know as the “Court Jesters”, the volleyball court, the advanced sound system, and the team’s record in the postseason as major factor’s in the selection.
Prior to taking the reins of the Nighthawk program, Lang was an assistant volleyball coach at his alma mater Canyon del Oro High School from 1999-2000. He also coached at Rincon High School from 1995-98. As an assistant at Rincon, the Rangers won the region title in 1997 and finished second in 1998.
Lang has worked to promote the game of volleyball in the community as well as being an advocate at the State level. He has served on the AIA Volleyball Coaches Advisory for 10 years and created Volleypalooza - Ironwood Ridge's popular middle school tournament every April. In 2005, he led the charge as the President of the Arizona Association for Volleyball Coaches and the AIA 5A Volleyball Representative to adopt the best 3-of-5 sets for all varsity matches as well as creating a consistent State tournament format. Changes that were praised by volleyball coaches and players statewide.
At the club level, Lang continues to promote the sport he loves in Southern Arizona. He has coached club volleyball since 1994, where he helped start the first boys club team in Southern Arizona. Since then, he has coached both boys and girls teams of all age groups from 12U to 18U at both the Regional and National level. Most recently, his 17U club team qualified for the 2015 USA Volleyball National Championships in the 17-American Division. In 2010, Lang was selected to serve as the Director for Club Cactus Juniors Volleyball Club, a junior training program for players of ages 8-18. Lang also organizes the annual Cactus Classic Volleyball Invitational, a national volleyball tournament with over 150 teams held at the Tucson Convention Center.
Lang joined the Ironwood Ridge faculty in 2008 where he teaches Business Management and Technology, along with Informational Technology and website development. In 2014, Lang was selected as the Department Chair for the Career and Technical Education Department at Ironwood Ridge.
Born on January 26, 1970 in Batavia, New York, Lang is married to the former Charmaine Mayzak. Together, they have two daughters, Cosette Elizabeth (15) and Isabella Antoinette (13). Away from the gym, Coach Lang enjoys spending time with his family and cycling with his wife.