Chris Beerman, former head coach of Pitt’s volleyball team, died Jan. 24 at 53 after battling COVID-19 for a month.
“The volleyball community is hurting today with the loss of Chris Beerman,” Pitt head coach Dan Fisher said in a statement. “I did not know him well, but I have so much respect for his leadership and legacy with Pitt volleyball. We mourn with our alumnae and send our thoughts and prayers to his family.”
A former Big East Coach of the Year, Beerman spent eight seasons leading the Pitt volleyball program (2000-07), holding a 154-89 record that included a 2003 Big East title and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Chris never stopped coaching me, even when my time at Pitt was done,” said Pitt volleyball alum Stephanie Ross (2005-08). “He continued to mentor me and was always one of the first phone calls I made when I was considering a new job and even a career change. I would hang up the phone feeling like I was invincible and that I could do anything, simply because I knew he still believed in me. To him, nothing was impossible.”
Beerman’s 20-year career in collegiate volleyball included stops at Louisville, South Florida, James Madison and Kentucky in addition to Pittsburgh. Overall, he a was a three-time coach of the year and participated in eight NCAA Tournaments, including the Sweet 16 while an assistant coach at Kentucky in 2009.
Following his time in collegiate volleyball, Beerman founded the Lexington United Volleyball (LUV) club, where he grew the program into the largest youth volleyball club in central Kentucky for players ages 9-18. Beerman also coached club volleyball in Tampa, Fla., and Louisville, Ky., in addition to founding the Valley Juniors club in Harrisonburg, Va.
As a collegiate player, Beerman was a two-time All-American at Ball State and led the Cardinals to three consecutive NCAA Men’s Final Fours from 1988-90. Additionally, Beerman was a member of the bronze medal 1986 and 1987 Olympic Sports Festival teams, as well as a member of the training team for the 1991 World University Games..
Beerman is survived by wife Mary-Beth, also a former volleyball player at Ball State, and his two children: Kendall, a former LUV player who played collegiately at Indiana University, and Jackson, a current football player at Eastern Kentucky University.
For more on Beerman, go to the Pitt Athletics website.