David Rodgers, Club Director and Coach
David has been playing and coaching volleyball for 30 years. As we reel in the seasons we realize that volleyball is really about relationships – both on the off the court. Our devotion and commitment to each other will bring out the best in us. It’s not about winning and losing – it’s about becoming YOUR BEST. When you, as an individual, and you, as a team, become your best – amazing results unfold. A nurturing learning experience with “no fear of mistakes” helps you achieve YOUR BEST.
It’s not what you say about yourself, it’s what others say about you that is reality. One parent stated, “I don’t know how he does it. He’s always at least two steps ahead of the rest of us.” To achieve your goal you have to know your destination then, plan a path to get there.
In his early years, David was a sailor so he finds personal meaning in the quote: “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.” – Unknown
His volleyball motto is “Play free and have FUN!”
Kyla Rodgers, Club Director and Coach
Kyla is the club director for Iowa Rockets Volleyball and has been playing volleyball for 30 years. She was a player at the USAV Women’s AA level and is a USAV Regional Referee, collegiate referee, Men’s Big 10 referee, and a CAP I USAV coach. She has taken teams to the USAV National Tournament, finishing as high as 2nd and 3rd in the nation. In 2003 she led Rockets 15s to a 1st place Regional finish and 3rd place in the Nation! Also, her teams have won National Qualifiers at 15s, 16s, 17s and the 18s level. In 2014 she led her team to a USAV Open division bid at Nationals. In 2015, her (somewhat of an underdog team in 16s) won the GOLD medal in a strong field at Iowa Regionals, completing the season with a great showing at Nationals. Though Kyla is an all-around coach, she specializes in attacking, blocking, and offense. Her larger perspective of the game of volleyball (and life) focuses on coaching the whole girl, learning the whole sport, and working(playing) together.
Chin Nguyen, Coach
Chin has been playing volleyball for 30 years. He was part of the University of Iowa Men’s Club team during college and played at the AA level on a men’s team in Des Moines, Tulsa, & Chicago. He’s been a Rockets coach since 2004 & has also coached in Bend, OR. Chin is a CAP I USAV volleyball coach & has coached at the 12s thru 18s levels. He has captured 1st at Iowa Regionals multiple times and 1st at three National Qualifiers. In 2013 his 18s team brought home a Gold medal by winning a USAV National Championship! Chin was the Iowa Region Coach of the Year in 2012 & joins the ranks of a very few Iowa coaches that has led his/her teams to not one…but two USAV Nationals Open division bids. In 2018, his 13Black & 15R teams both brought home 3rd Place trophies from Nationals in Detroit.
Jay Van Vark, Coach
Jay Van Vark is in his first season with Iowa Rockets, but he has a wealth of knowledge & coaching experience! He’s currently in China at the World Championships coaching the USA Women’s Armed Forces Team at & prior to that, was in Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia coaching the Myanmar Men’s National Team. He’s been a head coach at a D1 program, as well as an assistant to numerous programs like Grand Canyon University, Ohio State, San Diego Sate & UC-Santa Barbara. He’s also coached boys & girls volleyball at the high school level in California for 10 years at Rancho Bernardo High School with a girls’ state title in 1994. During his college years at Iowa State, Jay played in a semi-pro indoor team with ACCO Sportswear, as well as beach with East Beach (AAA rated beach & grass player). Jay’s claim to fame is that in the late 80s, he was the youngest college official for the Big 8 (now Big 12 Conference). Jay will be the head coach for our top 18R team this season.
Lauren Hansen, Recruiting Coordinator
Lauren has a wealth of experience as a coach and a player. She played high school volleyball in the Chicago area and was a member of the highly touted Sky High VBC program. She has led her teams to top finishes in the Iowa Region. In 2011 her 17R team captured first place in the Iowa Region tournament. She has led 2 teams to third place finished at the highly competitive Chicago Power League. Her 2011 team got 3rd place at the USAV National Tournament and her 2014 team captured 2nd place at the USAV National Tournament. Lauren is an authorized high school coach and currently works at the Mercy Medical Center in the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center. This is her 7th year with Rockets. Lauren is also Rockets College Recruiting Coordinator which is a huge undertaking. She personally meets with parents and players to guide them through the difficult and confusing recruiting process. This past season, Lauren successfully helped 25 Iowa Rockets players find their college home!
Don Jackson, Coach Emeritus
Don joined Iowa Rockets for 9 years after retiring from Procter & Gamble. Don’s love of the game began in college and he is actively involved in playing, coaching, and refereeing. He has 20 years of experience coaching youth sports at all skill levels. For the past 7 years, he has been a Lead coach for our U11/12 teams who have won numerous local and regional championships. In 2017 he led both 12 Black and 13 Black to National Division bids in Minneapolis. Don specializes in developing fundamental skills in our younger players, as well as mentoring our newer coaches. He was also the assistant varsity coach at Clear Creek Amana High School for 6 years. Though he is retired and move to Idaho, his heart is still with Rockets and you will see him again this fall.
Stacey Ruff, Coach
Stacey has over 25 years of playing and coaching experience at the junior high, high school, club, and collegiate levels. Her tenure has included head coach at Hempstead HS in Dubuque (1997-1998), head and assistant coach at University of Dubuque (1999-2004), head coach at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL (2005-2007) and head coach at Pleasant Valley HS from 2008-2014. In her first year at PV, she led the 2008 team to its first State appearance since 1977 and then two more appearances in 2012 and 2013. Her 2012 team finished with a 38-2 record and a semi-finalist finish at the State tournament. She also established the Pleasant Valley Club Volleyball program in 2008. Her playing career includes one season at Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State) and 3 seasons at University of Dubuque. Ruff was inducted into the University of Dubuque Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Stacey Ruff is an AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) member. She has been a Rockets coach since 2009, and has led her teams to numerous top three finishes at the Iowa Region Championship. In 2011 and 2012 her teams captured a USAV Qualifier championship and finished National Runner-up at the 2011 USAV Championships and 3rd place in 2013.
Jeff Daugherty, Coach
Jeff has been playing volleyball year round for over 25 years. His first coaching opportunity came when he was a Sophomore in High School (now that was a just a few years ago!) He coached a 6th/7th grade little league baseball team because no parents would volunteer. Since then, Jeff has coached his own kids in volleyball, softball, basketball, t-ball, & soccer. For the last 8 years, he’s coached volleyball at North Central Jr. High in North Liberty. He’s also coached the last 8 years for Rockets, coaching his oldest daughter Maddie’s teams in 12’s, 13’s, & 14’s then switched to coach his younger daughter Kennedy’s teams He coached her first year of 11’s in which they won Regionals and recently helped coach her Rockets 15’s team. They finished 5th at the Iowa Regional Championship and second place at Northern Lights Qualifier, not bad for being the third best Rocket’s team in that age group!