At the helm of one of San Diego State University's most successful programs, head coach Mark Warner completed his 14th season of carrying on the volleyball tradition on Montezuma Mesa in 2008 before retiring from the collegiate coaching ranks. His priority of excellence, both in the classroom and on the volleyball court, has elevated the SDSU women's volleyball program into one of the finest on the west coast.
Warner officially took the post after an impressive showing as interim head coach in 1995, when he led the squad to a 27-5 record and its first ever Western Athletic Conference championship. The Aztecs finished the season with their best winning percentage in school history and the fewest losses ever. SDSU advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAAs, and for his efforts, Warner was named WAC Coach of the Year.
The following season was nothing short of magical. Warner guided SDSU to its second-consecutive 20-plus win season and a second-round appearance in the NCAA tournament. In 2001, his Aztec squad returned to the NCAA postseason, receiving an at-large bid to the tourney.
He amassed a 211-212 (.509) career record at SDSU during his 14 seasons in charge of the Aztec women's program. A total of 22 all-conference first-team selections have played under Warner. He also coached the 2002 MWC Co-Player of the Year (Aspen McPartland) and the 2001 MWC Defensive Player of the Year (Robyn Gregg). Warner himself was named the 2002 conference co-coach of the year after taking his Aztecs to a second-place league finish.
Prior to 1995, Warner served four seasons as an assistant coach in the women's volleyball program. He helped coach the Aztecs to an 85-43 record during that time, including a second-round appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1994. He also coached alongside Jack Henn for five seasons with the men's program, and is himself a former Aztec who played for the 1968 varsity volleyball team that won the collegiate national championship.
Following his collegiate career, Warner played with various club teams in the U.S. Volleyball Association. A 12-time USVBA All-American, Warner led his team to the 1974 Winston Volleyball League championship. In 1985, 1993 and 1994, Warner played on the USA volleyball senior division teams that captured national titles. In 1993, Warner was named MVP at the USA Volleyball National Championships in the men's master division.
Warner initially joined the Aztec staff as an assistant men's coach to Duncan McFarland in 1982, while simultaneously coaching the women's team at San Diego City College. He held both positions until 1984, when he was named SDSU's head men's coach.
During the summer of 2000, Warner, along with a number of former SDSU volleyball players, traveled to China with Horizon Sports International on a sports ministry trip. The two-week trip included clinics and matches for school children ages 11-18. In 2001, Warner took 11 members of his Aztec squad to Europe on a summer tour where they faced some of the top clubs in the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany.
In January 2002, Warner traveled with his team to Singapore and Hong Kong on a sports ministry trip representing the World Sports Network. The journey included visits to various churches and clinics for school children ages 11-18.
A native of San Diego, Warner received a degree in recreation administration from SDSU in 1987. He has been married to Susan Warner for 38 years. Susan is employed at Faith Community School in San Diego.
The couple has two daughters. Jenna, 35, is a first grade teacher in the Alpine School District. She received her master's degree and administrative credential in 2003. She is married to Steve Weinert, a former track and field athlete at SDSU, who is a professor of psychology at Cuyamaca Community College. The couple has two children, Ella Grace (5) and Caleb Steven (2).
The Warners' youngest daughter Robin, 32, graduated in 2004 with her medical degree and works for Kaleida Health, Outpatient Behavioral Health, at Buffalo (N.Y.) General Hospital. She is married to Dr. Mark Balas and the couple has a son and daughter, three-year old Graham Balas and one-year-old Gwendolyn Balas.