Gail Wasmus enters her 31st season of coaching women's collegiate volleyball at NYIT in 2016. Under her tutelage, the volleyball program has reached unprecedented heights and is now one of the top programs in the Northeast. Coming off their most historical season to-date, the Bears finished 2015 with a 28-8 overall record, appearance in the Elite 8 Tournament and an East Region Championship title. Armed with an experienced core group of players, Wasmus and the Bears are primed to make a run at the top of the Northeast region once again.
Coach Wasmus, who has 571 career victories directed the Bears last season to the program's tenth NCAA Tournament appearance and a second place regular-season finish in the East Coast Conference. After dropping the ECC finals game to the University of Bridgeport the Bears came back to capture the East Region title to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in the program's 40-year existence. Wasmus earned ECC Coach of the Year honors for the second time and had Setter of the Year Allison Fowler accompany three other teammates on ECC teams. Fowler, along with Karolina Moderova and Kate Brock also earned inclusion on the 2015 AVCA All-Region team.
In The Bears advanced to the NCAA Regional semifinal for the second time in program history and finished the year 22-10. Junior Shelby Cable received her third All-ECC first team honor and her second AVCA All-America honorable mention accolade. Wasmus, who boasts a career coaching record of 571-395, began a 12-year stint at NYIT as the women's athletic director and women's volleyball and basketball coach in 1976. She took over a volleyball program that was just one year old, and immediately turned it into a winner. Following a 4-5 first season, Wasmus led the Bears to nine consecutive winning seasons from 1977 to 1985, including seven straight appearances in the NYSAIAW Tournament from 1977 to 1983.
Wasmus left NYIT in 1985 and became the director of an indoor sports complex for eight years. She eventually opened her own company, Independence All-Sports Apparel, which she successfully operates today.
In 1996, Wasmus returned to NYIT as a guest speaker at the senior dinner and found out the women's volleyball program was searching for a coach. "My intentions were to help Clyde [Doughty Jr.], the director of athletics, find a coach. I realized I wanted to give coaching another shot, and after one week, I knew that coaching at NYIT was what I wanted to do."
Since then, Wasmus has coached her way to 13 winning seasons. Under her tutelage, 14 Bears earned All-NYCAC honors and 20 student-athletes have received All-ECC accolades. Two players (Nathalia Rivera and Burcu Hakyemez) were NCAA Northeast Region All- Tournament team selections, while Hakyemez was named an AVCA All-American in 2004. The following season Zeynep Isik earned ECC Rookie of the Year and AVCA Northeast Freshman of the Year honors. In 2010, Shelby Cable was named ECC and AVCA Northeast Region Rookie of the Year. Cable is the first two-time All-American in the volleyball program's 40-year history.
In 2010, Wasmus was voted the East Coast Conference Coach of the Year by her peers as the Bears finished third in the league. In 2002, Wasmus was voted the NYCAC Coach of the Year by her peers as the Bears played in their first NYCAC Tournament championship game since 1990.