ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The newest staff member of the Lobo Volleyball program is a familiar name at the University of New Mexico and around the international volleyball community. Head coach Jeff Nelson has named former UNM legend Pauline Manser as assistant coach. Manser was an All-American twice during her New Mexico career, played in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and was inducted to the Lobo Hall of Honor. Her duties will include working with both UNM’s indoor and beach volleyball teams.
“I could not be happier to be adding Pauline to our staff here at the University of New Mexico,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “She has an amazing level of experience to share with our student-athletes. It is always great to bring back a famous alum but to get someone who is extremely talented on both the indoor and beach side is really special.”
Her elite playing experience is rivaled by her high-level coaching in recent years. She spent four years as the head coach of the Australian Women’s National Volleyball team from 2010 to 2014. Manser spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach on Australia’s national team prior to being named head coach.
“I feel lucky to come back to where it all started, and get a chance to give back to the program that gave me so much,” said Pauline Manser. “The idea of working across both disciplines is very attractive. My journey as a player involved the love of both. Each taught me a lot about myself, and playing each really helped improve the other.”
Before joining the coaching ranks, the Australian spent 15 years playing internationally. She amassed over 150 career appearances for Australia in indoor volleyball competition. Her playing career also included a fifth place finish in beach volleyball at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia.
“Pauline is one of the all-time greats of Lobo Volleyball, and she has been an active alum and great friend to the program,” Nelson noted. “I have had a few opportunities to work with and get to know her. She is a class act that will add to every area of our program.”
“I am excited to have the opportunity to invest full time in coaching as opportunities like this don't really exist in Australia,” Manser continued. “I am excited to be a part of the development of the sand program, and I am looking forward to helping continue to grow and raise the bar for UNM Volleyball program.”
Manser came to the University of New Mexico from Perth, Australia, lettering with the Lobos from 1988 to 1991. She still ranks in the top ten in New Mexico history in a variety of career statistics, including hitting efficiency, kills, total blocks, block assists and points. Her .372 career hitting efficiency mark is the highest all-time mark in Lobo history.
While in the cherry and silver, the Australian helped guide her team to a perfect 12-0 record in the Western Athletic Conference during the 1990 season. The conference championship season also brought Manser her first All-America honors. She was the 1991 WAC Player of the Year and took home WAC Player of the Week honors five times en route to her second All-America honor. She graduated cum laude in 1991 with a degree in recreation. Her hire at UNM is pending final HR approval.