IRVINE, Calif. -- Chris Volk, a central figure in the rise of UC Irvine’s to national prominence, has been named head coach of the Anteaters, announced by UCI Athletic Director Michael Izzi.

Volk has served as UCI’s lead assistant coach for the past 17 seasons and has been instrumental in helping guide the Anteaters to four nationally-seeded NCAA tournament appearances in the past six years, including two trips to the round of 16.

During that span, UCI has won four Big West Conference regular-season titles and four Big West tournament championships with an overall record of 80-37-14.

”Chris has an extensive coaching résumé and his knowledge and skills have been key components in the success of our men’s soccer program,” Izzi said. “He is an outstanding representative of UCI and we are extremely confident and excited in his ability to direct our men’s soccer program to perennial postseason competition.”

Under Volk’s direction as UCI’s primary goalkeeper coach, the Anteaters have been one of the top programs in goals-against average, including a No. 6 national ranking of 0.63 in 2011. This season, UCI recorded 10 shutouts in the team’s 15 victories.

Volk tutored two Big West Goalkeepers of the Year and MLS SuperDraft selections in Kenny Schoeni and Andrew Fontein, a 2011 Freshman All-American.

Volk was named 2008 Far West Region Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

"I would like to thank chancellor Drake, Mike Izzi, Paula Smith, Paul Hope, Phil Wang and all of the UC Irvine administration for providing me the opportunity to be the next UC Irvine men's soccer head coach,” Volk said.

”My family and I are extremely honored to continue to be a part of the Anteater Family and I am eager to get started with preparing our student-athletes for a successful 2014 campaign. I am highly motivated to build on the winning tradition that has been cultivated within our men's soccer program and supported by our athletic department and staff members.”

He and his wife, Amy, have a son, Kevin, and a daughter, Katie.

Prior to UC Irvine, Volk served as an assistant coach for his alma mater, San Diego State, from 1995-96. He also was head coach of the Grossmont High School girls’ team, advancing to the CIF playoffs each year during his tenure from '92-96. In '94 he served as an assistant coach for the San Diego Mesa College women’s and men’s squads.

He played at San Diego State from 1987-91 for an Aztec program that was the NCAA Division I runner-up his freshman year. After concluding his collegiate career, Volk played for professional teams such as the Anaheim Splash, the A-League Orange County Zodiac, and the Las Vegas Dustdevils, winners of the 1994 Continental Indoor Soccer League championship.