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June 17, 2011 > Volk named student leader of the year

Volk named student leader of the year

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Info Director

Cal State East Bay's Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) honored Pioneer baseball player Johnny Volk as the Student Leader of the Year at its annual awards banquet at New University Union on June 3.

A senior pitcher from Quartz Hill, Volk has served as the president of CSUEB's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) for the past two years. Over the past few weeks he was also the recipient of the Pioneer Spirit Award, given annually to the Cal State East Bay student-athlete who demonstrates dedication to the athletics department, the community and his fellow student-athletes, and a Student Life and Leadership honoree.

"I'm both proud and humbled to receive such an honor," Volk said. "It has been a tremendous four years and getting awards like this only reinforce my strong passion to have the Student-Athlete Advisory Council continue to support the campus community.

"At the same time, I know that we can still do more to help," he added. "There are still a lot of areas where the Student-Athlete Advisory Council can help in our community."

Since the outset of his college career, Volk has been a leader both on the field and within the campus community. As SAAC President, Volk helped the Pioneers to collect the second-highest Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraising total in the CCAA in 2009-10, Cal State East Bay's first year in the conference. He was also selected to attend the NCAA Student-Athlete Development Conference in 2009. Volk was one of 700 student-athletes from across all three NCAA divisions at the conference and the first CSUEB student to attend.

This year, Volk helped to organize several events for SAAC, including a successful Homecoming Pep Rally and dodgeball tournament, both of which raised money for Make-A-Wish. Volk was also involved in other events on campus, including a student flash-mob to open the Recreation and Wellness Center and Relay for Life.

ASI Student Leader of the Year recognition is awarded annually to one student who demonstrates leadership within and a commitment to the campus community at Cal State East Bay. Volk was one of only a few award recipients on the night that was not an ASI board or committee member.

Volk finished his college baseball career in May and wrapped up his academic year on June 11, graduating with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He now hands the reigns of SAAC over to women's soccer player Tenaya Davis who was elected as SAAC President for the 2011-12 school year.

"This campus and athletic department has given so much that I will always be a proud alumnus," said Volk. "I can't wait to see what Tenaya and the rest of SAAC do next year."

Jones named cross country and track coach
CSUEB's Athletics Department and Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis named Morgan State assistant coach Ralph Jones as its new head cross country and track and field coach on Monday, June 13.

A former student-athlete at Morgan State and assistant coach at Central Arizona College and Wilmington College, Jones helped coach 15 regional qualifiers in cross country and five school record holders in track and field over the past four years with the Bears.

"I am humbled yet excited to have the opportunity to lead the Pioneer cross country and track programs," Jones said. "[Debby] De Angelis has a vision for our program and is a proven winner and leader who believes in my ability to lead and has been extremely supportive. The entire staff is committed to excellence. I look forward to being a part of the East Bay team and helping our student athletes become champions."

In addition to his regular coaching duties, Jones was in charge of recruiting for the men's and women's track and field and cross country programs at Morgan State, monitored the academic progress of all the cross country and track athletes and coordinated the budget and travel for the Bears.

"We are excited to have Ralph Jones take over the leadership of our cross country and track programs," De Angelis said. "His coaching experience including most recently as a Division I assistant will allow us to take the next step into Division II."

Jones will take the reigns from outgoing cross country and track coach Greg Ryan, who has retired after nine years with the Pioneers and a 35-year coaching career. Ryan guided Cal State East Bay to seven conference titles in cross country, including three straight women's titles from 2003-05.

"We want to thank Coach Ryan for his effort and coaching success as he moves into retirement," De Angelis said. "We are pleased to have been able to select from an excellent pool of applicants and look forward to Coach Jones moving us forward in the CCAA."

The Pioneers expect to be accepted as an active member in the NCAA Division II this summer after completing the three-year transition process during the 2010-11 season. Next year, Cal State East Bay will be eligible for both CCAA and NCAA postseason competition following the two-year probation period which it has just completed.

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