-- Temple volleyball's Akiko Hatakeyama
has been promoted to Associate Head Coach, as announced by head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam
"I think it's a great testimony to her impact on the program," noted Ganesharatnam. "It shows the great work ethic that she has. I'm very happy she was able to get this promotion and I'm very, very confident that she will be an even greater asset as our program moves forward."
Hatakeyama, a 1999 graduate of Temple, who led the Owls to their first NCAA tournament as a player in 1997, returned to serve as the assistant coach for the Owls after the 2011 season. She was promoted to Assistant Head Coach in 2015, and also serves as the Owls' recruiting coordinator.
"I am honored to continue my efforts with Temple volleyball program," said Hatakeyama. "I believe in what we do to achieve our goals and it has been a privilege to be a part of the program."
Most recently, Hatakeyama helped lead the 2016 team to their third-straight 20-win season. The Owls finished 22-8 overall with a 15-5 record in American Athletic Conference play. For the third-consecutive season, Temple defeated every opponent in The American at least once during the year, including road wins over SMU and Cincinnati. The Owls also captured the 2016 Philadelphia Big 5 title.
Hatakeyama is known for her ability to coach setters, and was instrumental in the development of All-Region setter, Sandra Sydlik
'15, who finished her career as one of just six players in program history to reach the 3,000-assist mark. Sydlik ended her time in cherry and white with two first-team All-Conference selections, a 2014 American Setter of the Year honor, and the first All-Region nod for the Owls in over 12 years.
As a player Hatakeyama helped lead Temple to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1997 after also going undefeated in Atlantic 10 play that season.
After graduation, Hatakeyama played professionally, primarily overseas, while also spending time coaching club teams and at summer camps. Her playing career has taken her to an impressive list of countries including Romania, Germany, Azerbaijan, Croatia, France, Spain, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Portugal, and Greece.
From 2000-2002 Hatakeyama competed in the United States Professional Volleyball League (USPV), and led her Grand Force Rapids team to a third-place finish in 2002.
Hatakeyama has earned certification as a FIVB Level 1 International Coach, and since her Temple career she has coached at the summer camps of former Temple coach Bob Bertucci. She also coached a club team in Switzerland from 2004-05, and a club in Holland from 2003-04. In 1999, Hatakeyama interned with the USA Volleyball National Team where she assisted in practices for the Women's National team, World University Game Team, A2 team, Women's Junior National Team, and Women's Youth National Team.