“Ren is a servant leader who understands the importance that a coach plays in the development of student-athletes,” Gray said. “His holistic approach will have a significant impact on our volleyball program, our department, and our campus. We are excited about the future of Niagara volleyball under Ren’s direction.”
Cefra most recently served as an assistant coach at Temple University from 2015-22. In his position, he assisted with recruiting, planning and organizing team and individual training sessions, budgeting, scheduling, academic monitoring and alumni relations. He also was responsible for gathering team statistical information and live game statistics and coordinated travel, organized practice schedules and team equipment ordering.
While at Temple, the Owls were 2020 AAC Tournament runners-up and made it to the second round of the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championships. He coached eight All-AAC First Team honorees, seven All-AAC Second Team selections and the 2020 AAC Libero of the Year.
“I would like to thank Niagara University President Father Maher, Director of Athletics Simon GraySenior Associate Athletic Director/SWA Dedra Palmer, and the rest of the search committee for selecting me to be the next head volleyball coach,” said Cefra. “I am humbled and thrilled to be leading the Niagara volleyball program. After being on campus and meeting everyone involved with the volleyball program, it was very clear the mission and core values at Niagara aligned with my own values as a coach.”
From March to July of 2015, Cefra served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Minot State University. Prior to Minot State, Cefra was the Director of Volleyball Operations at the University of Nevada – Reno from July 2014-February 2015. Cefra was a volunteer assistant coach at St. John’s from 2012-14.
Cefra began his collegiate coaching career at Division II Chaminade University as an assistant coach from 2008-10. He also has almost 10 years of experience coaching at the club level and has five years of experience coaching high school volleyball.
Cefra was the recipient of the 2016 AVCA Diversity Award. Cefra has an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Leeward Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii – West Oahu. He played two years of collegiate volleyball at Santa Barbara City College from 2000-02, where he was a libero.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Ren has done a great job during his time at Temple University helping the program succeed on and off the court. He understands that the most important thing is to provide an excellent experience for the student-athletes. Ren has put in the work over the years to prepare and get ready to be able to lead a DI volleyball program.He is ready and will do a tremendous job at Niagara University.This is a perfect match and I wish him nothing but the best in his future and I am looking forward to following the success of Niagara Volleyball.” —Baker Ganesharatnam, Head Coach, Temple University (2011-22)
“Ren is a tremendous hire for Niagara University. He has over a decade worth of Division I coaching experience and is committed to mentoring student-athletes to achieve their goals in the classroom, on the court and in the community. Ren’s core values as a person align with this prestigious private Vincentian University.He is ethical, caring, reliable and honest.He will create and offer an outstanding student-athlete atmosphere at Niagara.Ren’s domestic and international contacts in the game will provide Niagara with a substantial recruiting base and his ability to connect with his players is inspiring.The future of Niagara volleyball is very bright with Ren Cefra at the helm. leadership and expertise.” – Joanne Persico, Head Coach, St. John’s
“I’m so excited for this opportunity for Ren Cefra. He has great understanding of the game and is a good communicator. Ren is very organized and is a forward thinker.” -Ruth Lawanson, Head Coach, University of Nevada-Reno (2010-14)