The 2010 volleyball season marks Coach Yelin's 15th season as U of L's head coach. He is the Cardinals' winningest coach with more than 450 wins, eleven 20+ win seasons and two 30+ win seasons. In early 2010, he attended the USA National Team Coaching Outreach Program, which only invites coaches of top-ranked programs, to help improve the communication lines between National Team Staff and college coaches.
In 2009, Yelin coached his Cardinals to their 21st consecutive winning season, 20th NCAA Tournament and third BIG EAST Tournament Championship. His star freshman, Lola Arslanbekova, tore through the opponents during the BIG EAST Tournament with two 25-kill games and was named tournament MVP. Arslanbekova and Lecia Brown were Honorable Mention All-Americans by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Yelin coached the 2008 Cardinal Volleyball team to its second BIG EAST Tournament Championship and 19th NCAA Tournament appearance. He also had outstanding play from Senior Jana Matiasovska as she earned BIG EAST Tournament MVP and All-America honors.
Coach Yelin led his 2007 team to a share of the BIG EAST regular season title and U of L's 18th NCAA Tournament appearance. Like in 2007, Yelin coached his girls to the 2006 NCAA Tournament and beat Notre Dame in an exciting 3-2 come-from-behind win for the Cardinal's first BIG EAST Tournament Championship.
In 2005, Yelin established U of L as a top notch program when he led his Cards to a No. 6 ranking in the nation. Coach Yelin guided the team to 22 straight victories and won 25 of the last 26 matches. On top of that, he helped lead his team to the BIG EAST regular season crown and advanced the team to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament for U of L's fifth time. The Cardinals ended the season with their highest ever final ranking of No. 11.
In 2004, Yelin led U of L to a 30-3 record. His team swept Conference USA to win the conference regular season and tournament championship. In the NCAA Tournament, Yelin coached U of L to its fourth Sweet Sixteen. With this success, Yelin's peers voted him C-USA Coach of the Year and C-USA Coach of the Decade. He also earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Midwest Region coach of the Year honors.
Coach Yelin reached 300 career wins in 2003. This milestone had only been reached by 44 other coaches. With a winning percentage of .778, Yelin was ranked No. 10 in the nation of winningest active coaches. During the 2003 season, Coach Yelin led his U of L team to a 31-3 record and upset with a four-game sweep over then-No. 6 ranked Minnesota who ended up making a Final Four appearance. However, this wasn't the first time Coach Yelin defeated a top six ranked team. In 2002, his team beat No. 6 ranked Arizona in a three-game sweep.
Yelin coached his 2001 team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, which U of L was privileged to host. Yelin's 2000 team blew through the C-USA Tournament with ease to win the crown.
But this is no surprise. Yelin has taken the Cardinals to heady heights before as they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in 1996 and 1998 and its then-highest ever national ranking of No. 16 in the final 1996 AVCA/USA Today poll. More career highlights include Cardinals blowing through the 2000 Conference USA Tournament unscathed for the league crown. In 2001, the Cardinals advanced to the second round of the NCAA, which Louisville hosted.
Yelin's international ties have been cemented by overseas travel. In the spring of 2005, U of L took its second international trip, with a two week tour of Italy. In the spring of 2001, Yelin undertook the most ambitious road trip on record for the volleyball team. In 21 days, the Cardinals played eight matches in Austria, Italy, Germany and Russia.
Louisville fans knew early on that they had a winner in Yelin, who won the Division II national championship in 1995 at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. That year he was also named National Coach of the Year.
He has helped U of L maintain its Top 25 status and achieve its goal of becoming a Top 10 program. Yelin was the Uzbekistan's national women's volleyball coach in the former Soviet Union. Before coming to the United States in 1989, he also coached the Republic of Uzbekistan's Men's National Volleyball Team which competed internationally.
He has a master's equivalent diploma in physical education and sports training from the Uzbekistan Government Institute of Physical Culture and Sport. He played on the Republic of Uzbekistan men's team from 1970 to 1975, then began his coaching career as head coach of the Uzbekistan junior (U-18) team. In 1977, he was named head coach of the national Uzbekistan women's team. He guided the squad to the first place finish at the 1977 and 1981 U-18 national championship and at the 1978 USSR Women's World Cup. From 1983-87, he was the head coach of the Ukraine women's professional team which participated in the national championship in 1987.
He became the head coach of the Uzbekistan men's professional team that claimed the men's national championships in 1988 and 1989.
Yelin took a struggling Barry University program to the national championship in just five seasons. His teams posted records of 23-8, 30-4 and 34-2 in his last three seasons. In 1994, the team qualified for its first-ever NCAA tournament by winning the South Regional and advanced to the National Elite Eight. The team finished the season ranked No. 5 in the Final NCAA Division II poll. The 1995 team won the national championship.
His teams at Barry University also excelled in the classroom. His last team at Barry completed the fall semester with a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 with five athletes with a 4.0 and two others with a 3.9 grade point average.
Yelin's wife, Yelena, was a member of the Republic of Uzbekistan's Women's National Team from 1973 -1986. She became a USSR Olympic Volleyball team member from 1975-78. That team won the European women's world championship in 1977 in Helsinki, Finland and earned a bronze medal at the Women's World Cup in 1977.
Leonid and Yelena have two children, Eleanora and Boris.
Leonid Yelin's File
Birthdate: April 4, 1950
Hometown: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Education: Uzbekistan Government Institute of Physical Culture and Sport (1970)
Barry University 1991-1995
Univ. of Louisville 1996-pres.
2004 C-USA Coach of the Year
2004 C-USA Coach of the Decade
2004 AVCA All-Midwest RegionCoach of the Year
1995 AVCA National Coach of the Year
1995 Sunshine Conference Coach of the Year
1995 AVCA NCAA Div. II South Region Coach of the Year
1994 AVCA NCAA Div. II South Region Coach of the Year
1994 Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year
1989 Uzbekistan Men's Nat'l Championship Assoc. Head Coach
1988 Uzbekistan Men's National Championship Assoc. Head Coach
1987 Uzbekistan Women's National Championship Coach
1981 Coach of USSR's National Championship (U-18 Women)
1979 Spartakaida (Soviet Union Olympic Festival) Women's Coach
1978 USSR U-18 World Cup Champions
1977 USSR Women's National Champion Assoc. Head Coach (Uzbekistan)
2005 NCAA Div. I Sweet Sixteen
2004 NCAA Div. I Sweet Sixteen
1998 NCAA Div. I Sweet Sixteen
1996 NCAA Div. I Sweet Sixteen
1995 NCAA Div. II National Champions
1994 NCAA Div. II Elite Eight
1970-75 Member of Uzbekistan National Team