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Former Rincon/UHS volleyball standout and head coach Nick Mata named assistant coach for George Mason University

Nick Mata coaching at Rincon/University in 2016. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Nick Mata was a standout outside hitter for Rincon/University and he started coaching the Rangers two years after he graduated in 2012, taking over head coaching duties in 2014 while attending the University of Arizona.

While in college, Mata was a standout for the University of Arizona Men’s Club Volleyball team and he also started coaching the Arizona Women’s Club Volleyball team. He was a volunteer assistant coach for Dave Rubio in 2018 and he was hired in 2019 to serve as the Arizona Volleyball and Arizona Beach Volleyball Director of Operations. He also found time to assist with the Canyon del Oro Beach Volleyball program.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Aylene (Ilkson)Nena (Rogers), Jordan (Glass), and everyone involved in the hiring process for giving me this incredible opportunity to become a part of the Mason women’s volleyball program,” said Mata in a release from George Mason. “I’d also like to thank the staff here at Arizona for supporting me in my pursuit to become an assistant coach. My career in volleyball has taken me down many different paths, but I can wait to start down my new path at George Mason! I can’t wait to hit the ground running with Aylene and this program!”

The Patriots are located in Fairfax, Virginia and the program competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

“Nick is an up-and-coming star in the volleyball world,” said head coach Ilkson. “He has done an amazing job at Arizona and has the Power 5 insight to help with the transformation that is happening in our program. Nick is not only a great tactical coach, but his ability to relate to student-athletes is unparalleled. He is an upstanding guy who is going to make a real impact on our Mason community.”

Mata earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona in 2015.

Portions from news release.

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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