Arizona hires Charita Stubbs to replace legendary volleyball coach Dave Rubio

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Information provided by the Arizona media-relations department:

Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke announced Wednesday the promotion of Charita Stubbs as the next head coach of the volleyball program, following the retirement of long-time coach Dave Rubio.

A former Arizona player, Stubbs is the first African-American head coach in program history. Stubbs, the fourth head coach in Arizona history, played with the Wildcats for Rubio from 1992 to 1994 and has spent 19 total years (1997 to 2005, 2013 to 2022) on his coaching staff at Arizona.

“I am incredibly excited to name Charita Stubbs as our next head volleyball coach,” Heeke said in an Arizona press release. “As a former Wildcat student-athlete and longtime member of Dave Rubio’s staff, Rita has a great appreciation and understanding of what it means to compete for the University of Arizona. She is a nationally respected figure in college volleyball who is outstanding at developing elite volleyball athletes with a passion for recruiting and guiding these student-athletes into academic, athletic and life champions that align with our mission and values.

“Rita has a tremendous vision and outstanding skillset that will set the course for future success for Arizona volleyball, and I look forward to watching her add more chapters to the storied legacy of the program.”

Stubbs has helped guide Arizona to NCAA Tournament appearances in 14 of her 19 seasons on staff. She has helped coach nine Wildcats to All-American status, including Arizona’s first middle blocker to earn honorable mention All-America honors since 1985.

“I want to thank Dave Heeke for believing in me and naming me the new head coach of Arizona Volleyball,” Stubbs said. “I am excited to lead my alma mater as I bleed Red and Blue. I cannot thank Dave Rubio enough for believing in this girl from Cleveland, Ohio as a player and as a coach. I stand for truth, hard work and discipline in this game, and I will continue Arizona Volleyball’s culture where our student-athletes enjoy the process.”

Since her return to Arizona, Stubbs has helped lead the Wildcats to five of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments. During her most recent 10 years on staff, Arizona has won 175 games, one of the most successful ten-year runs in school history.

Prior to landing her first collegiate head coaching position in February 2006 at NC State, Stubbs was a member of Rubio’s staff for nine seasons as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Arizona.

Helping the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament all nine years and finish in the top 25 in all but one of those seasons, Stubbs became the seventh head coach in the Wolfpack’s 31st year of volleyball and the first African-American female to be named a head coach at NC State.

The first player in Arizona history to record 300 kills, 300 digs and 100 blocks in one season, the former Charita Johnson led the Wildcats to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances at the 1993 and 1994 NCAA Tournaments. A four-year starting middle blocker from 1990-94, she earned All-Pac-10 and All-West Region honors as a senior and still holds school records for career (117) and single match (8) solo blocks.

Her name is scattered through Arizona’s career record books. Stubbs still ranks third in total career blocks (506), fourth for career block assists (389) and total career blocks per game (1.21), and ninth for 10+ kill matches in a career (64).

A member of the 1993 and 1994 United States Olympic Festival volleyball, Stubbs played professionally in France in 1995. Stubbs earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona in 1994 and received her master’s in language, reading and culture from Arizona in 1995. She is fluent in French and is a certified teacher.

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