Ken Preston

Ken Preston, Hall of Fame Coach

Ken Preston, Hall of Fame Coach

Ken Preston made his mark as a 30-year head coach for the UCSB men’s volleyball team from 1979-2008, with one of his proudest moments leading the Gauchos to the NCAA Finals in 1988.

Preston’s coaching career began at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, coaching the men from 1975-77. He also took on the Cuesta College women’s team from 1976-77 and moved on for one season to Wright State University’s men’s team in 1978. The Gauchos brought Preston, a Santa Barbara native, back in 1979 for his 30-year run at the helm of the men’s volleyball program, finishing his career with a 516-381 record and a Men’s Collegiate Coach of the Year nod in 1988. He also had a brief stint with the Westmont women’s team in 1989-90 during which he brought the Warriors to a fifth-place finish in the 1990 NAIA Nationals and was named the 1990 Women’s Western Region Coach of the Year.

Internationally, Preston has served as an apprentice coach for two U.S. Men’s National Team World Championship squads (Italy, 1978 and Argentina, 1982) and assistant coach twice (World University Games, Mexico 1979 and Pan-American Games, Venezuela 1983). He was the head coach for the U.S. Men’s World University Games team in Japan in 1985 and served as the technical adviser for the USA Men’s Olympic Team in Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

Preston has also held administrative positions representing the United States in international competition, including Head of Delegation for the USA Men’s World University Games in 2004 in Turkey, USA Men’s National Team, World League in Japan in 2007 and China in 2009 and as the technical adviser for USA Men’s National Team in the Pan Am Cup in Mexico in 2006.

Preston attended the University of Southern California from 1966-68 and graduated from UCSB in 1970 with a BA in social sciences. He earned an elementary school teaching credential at Cal Poly SLO and his Masters of Science in physical education in 1976. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Beth, of 35 years. He has three daughters – twins Brook and Courtney and Sarah.