The all-time winningest coach in program history, Todd Kress has led Fairfield volleyball back to the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Following back-to-back MAAC Championship campaigns in 2015 and 2016, Kress owns a record of 162-73 at Fairfield and 396-268 in 21 seasons as a Division I head coach. 2017 will be the fourth season of his second term on the Fairfield sidelines and his eighth campaign overall with the Stags.
Kress, who is Fairfield’s all-time leader in wins (162) and matches coached (235), also ranks second in program history with a .689 winning percentage. He was the youngest coach in NCAA history to reach 200 career wins when he attained the milestone as head coach at Florida State in 2004 and has also led the volleyball programs at Northern Illinois University and the University at Buffalo.
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 No. 15 Michigan State in the NCAA Championship First Round with a record of 28-6. The conference crown was Fairfield’s ninth MAAC Championship (his fourth) and 16th regular season title (his fifth) since 1996. For his efforts this fall, Kress was named MAAC Coach of the Year for a conference-record fifth time and also took home ECAC Coach of the Year honors.
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. That Fairfield squad was one of the youngest in the nation – and undoubtedly the youngest in the NCAA postseason field – boasting an active roster featuring nine freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and no seniors.
In his return to Fairfield in 2014, Kress guided the Stags to a 19-12 final record and a trip to the semifinal round of the MAAC Championship at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
Kress’ second stint at Fairfield marks a return to his first head coaching stop. The 1992 graduate of the University of Cincinnati 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.
In 1998, Kress was also named the AVCA District II Coach of the Year on the heels of the Stags’ 35-2 final record – a program standard for wins and winning percentage (.946) that remains intact today.
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. Despite falling to Georgia Tech in the final round, Florida State’s body of work merited an at-large berth to the NCAA postseason – ending the Seminoles’ three-year absence from the national stage.
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 sons: Trevor (16) and Trajan (13).