The all-time winningest coach in program history, Todd Kress had led Fairfield Volleyball for two of its most successful stretches. A six-time MAAC Champion and seven-time MAAC Coach of the Year (both conference records), Kress owns a record of 225-102 (.688) at Fairfield and 459-297 (.607) in 24 seasons as a Division I head coach. The fall of 2020 will mark the seventh season of his second term on the Fairfield sidelines and his 11th campaign overall with the Stags.
Kress, who is Fairfield’s all-time leader in wins (225) and matches coached (327), also ranks second in program history with a .688 winning percentage. He has also led the volleyball programs at Northern Illinois University, Florida State University and the University at Buffalo.
The 2019 Stags started the MAAC slate with 16 consecutive wins, sewing up the top seed and regular season title before ultimately dropping just one match en route to a 17-1 league slate. In the postseason, Fairfield rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Marist in the semifinals, then topped the upstart sixth-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats in four sets to claim the MAAC title. In addition to being the top team in the conference at 17-1, the Stags were also the league’s most improved club with a six win increase on their tally from the prior campaign.
The Stags reached the MAAC Championship Semifinals in 2018, marking the squad’s 10th straight season with a postseason victory. The campaign saw the end of Fairfield’s winning streak of 58 consecutive wins over MAAC competition (including postseason and non-conference meetings). At its peak, the run was longest active stretch against conference opponents in the nation and eclipsed the 1997-2001 Stags’ run of 49 straight MAAC wins, a streak that was also started by Kress-coached teams.
In addition to winning the 2017 MAAC Championship, Kress’s squad completed its second consecutive 18-0 MAAC regular season. After becoming the first team since 2003 (Manhattan) not to drop a set in the MAAC Championship, the Stags carried 21-match winning streak into the NCAA postseason, where they met #2 Texas for the second time in three seasons, ending the year at 25-7.
The 2016 Stags were just the second team to ever finish 18-0 in the MAAC regular season and the first to cap that feat by winning the MAAC Championship. That 20-match run through the conference was a part of a 22-match winning streak – the longest streak in the nation during the 2016 season. Fairfield’s season ended at #15 Michigan State in the NCAA Championship First Round with a record of 28-6.
Kress also led Fairfield to the MAAC Championship in 2015, advancing to the NCAA Championship First Round to challenge eventual NCAA Finalist Texas at Gregory Gym. Fairfield finished the year at 21-10.
Kress’ second stint at Fairfield marks a return to his first head coaching stop. Kress took the reins of Fairfield volleyball from 1995-98 and led the Stags to one of the most successful four-year stretches in program history.
After an 11-21 season to begin his tenure in 1995, Kress guided the Stags to a 23-12 mark and a MAAC regular season championship in 1996. The turnaround did not go unnoticed, as Kress was recognized by his peers as the MAAC Coach of the Year. He would earn the honor again in both 1997 and 1998 after leading the Stags to the first two MAAC Championships and NCAA postseason appearances in program history. Fairfield went unbeaten (9-0) in MAAC play in both campaigns.
Kress then took the head coaching position at Northern Illinois, once again engineering a nationally-recognized turnaround. The Huskies went 24-9 in 2000 – a 14-win improvement from the previous fall – and went 24-6 in 2001 en route to a Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship and NCAA Tournament berth. Kress was named the 2001 MAC Coach of the Year.
Kress moved on to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 2002 as the head coach at Florida State. In his first season at the helm, the Seminoles won 21 games and reached the ACC Championship Match.
In six seasons on the sidelines in Tallahassee, Kress picked up 103 victories. He guided Florida State to four winning seasons overall and finished with a record of .500 or better in ACC play in five campaigns. Kress also mentored the program’s first three AVCA All-America honorees and five First Team All-ACC selections.
Kress headed north to the University at Buffalo in 2009 to begin a five-year stay with the Bulls. During his tenure, Buffalo posted its first two winning seasons since 1996. Kress notched 73 victories with the Bulls, departing as one of the program’s most successful coaches since joining the Division I ranks in 1991.
Originally from Sidney, Ohio, Kress is a 1992 graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He has two teenage sons: Trevor and Trajan.