PHOENIX, Ariz. – Northern Arizona head volleyball coach Craig Choate and assistant coach Megan Greene competed at the 81st USA Open National Volleyball Championships at the Phoenix Convention Center last week. In addition to coaching the Lumberjack women's volleyball team, Choate and Greene remain active in the sport and play the adult national tournament every year.
Choate’s team, Adam-Maxwell, earned a bronze medal with a 5-4 record in a field of 26 teams. Greene played for Green Star Coffee and just missed a medal placing fourth amongst 60 teams with a 7-2 record.
“I enjoy competition,” said Choate. “My life has always been a physical one and I play because it is fun. I may be old but I am not dead.”
The event was a standard rules six-on-six tournament with elite adult, co-ed, and age group brackets starting at 40 and closing at 75 and over.
Choate has 20 years of coaching experience serving as the head coach at San Jose State and New Mexico State before arriving in Flagstaff. He is in his third year as the women’s head volleyball coach for the Lumberjacks.
As a player, Choate won silver medals at the 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004 USA Open Volleyball Championships in Atlanta. He participated in the 1981 USVBA senior men’s division open championships and received All-American honors. He played club volleyball as a student at BYU.
Greene is in her sixth year as an assistant coach at NAU after a standout career for the Lumberjacks from 1998-2001. She also recently played in an adult tournament in Los Angeles, Calif.
“I keep playing because I simply love the sport and love the opportunity to compete at a high level,” Greene said. “That’s something I really miss being able to do, so adult nationals is a great tournament.”
Greene was a member of the 1999 squad that earned NAU’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Sky Championship as the number four seed. As part of that 1999 team, Greene and her teammates were inducted into the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 2009.
Three other NAU alumni teamed with Greene for the fourth place finish in Phoenix—Hall of Famers Ruth McGolpin (Parsons) and Xylena Sanders and Katy Knowlton.