University of Wisconsin
AVCA: Who or what has made you want to pursue coaching?
Jake Barreau: I've been grateful enough to come from a family with quite a bit of volleyball history and to have had some wonderful influences along the way. I had never really considered coaching seriously until I got into college. It had really just been a side job to make some money to get through college up until then. I was around volleyball all day, every day at that point. In June of 2010, I got an email about an opening as the Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach at Monona Grove High School, an area team, asking to forward on anyone that may be interested. I decided to apply at the age of 20, never dreaming of being offered the job. I got the offer a couple of days later and ended up taking it after quite a bit of deliberation. I spent three seasons with MG, and it was easily the most rewarding coaching experience of my life. I had the opportunity to act as the voice and face of a program, coordinate training, and lead competition for this school, all while finishing my undergraduate degree.
AVCA: Who or what has been your biggest coaching influence?
JB: This past spring when the new coaching staff at Wisconsin was being announced, I had an amazing opportunity come my way. I got a call from Coach Sheffield saying that they would like to bring me in for an interview for the Volunteer Assistant Coach position. I went in that next day to interview. One thing that I distinctly remember saying when asked if this is what I want to do for a living was, "Coaching volleyball is the only thing that doesn't feel like work to me right now." It's true. I had always envisioned myself using my marketing degree to join the business world or maybe work with nonprofits. The past few years it has become increasingly obvious to me that this is what I need to do with my life. There is no feeling like seeing that flip switch or the look on a player's face when they get something or seeing a game plan being executed or even just seeing your team playing their best volleyball at the end of the year or just striving to get 1% better each day. Working under Coach Sheffield and his staff has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I am working long days, learning some of the video/statistics that go into decision-making and game strategy, and, to be honest, it isn't easy. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I am learning all that it takes to be a great trainer and coach. Being able to start my career in the B1G under one of the most well-respected coaches in our field is a dream come true for me.
AVCA: Please list your past and present coaching/playing experiences:
- Wisconsin Badgers Volunteer Assistant Coach Feb. 2013-Present
- Girls' Varsity Volleyball Coach at Monona Grove High School, Monona, WI June 2010-Feb. 2013
- Capital Volleyball Academy Club Coach December 2010-Present
- Wisconsin Women's Club Volleyball 2012-2013
- Wisconsin Men's Club Volleyball 2009-2012
AVCA: What are you most looking forward to at the 2012 AVCA Annual Convention?
JB: I am really looking forward to seeing Seattle for the first time and, of course, getting to meet all the "greats" in our sport and network with coaches from programs around the country. After talking with Coach Sheffield more about the convention, I am so excited for his highly-attended workshop "Why We Win." He asks the tough questions to some of the winningest coaches in college volleyball. That will be an awesome chance to pick the brains of winning coaches and how they build and maintain a respectable program.