John Blair enters his ninth season with the Golden Eagles coming off a 2010 season that was full of ups and downs. The Golden Eagles started the season 2-12, but were able to find their rhythm and finish with a 9-8 record the rest of the way to bring their 2010 record to 11-20 with an 8-10 OVC record. Their second half surge helped TTU reach the OVC Tournament for the fourth straight season under Blair, as the Golden Eagles advanced to the OVC Tournament semi-finals.
During the 2010 season, Blair earned his 59th OVC victory when
the Golden Eagles defeated Jacksonville State on November 18. Blair
now has 373 wins after 27 years as a head coach, including 99
career wins at Tennessee Tech, making him the third winningest
coach in program history.
Blair has enjoyed great success within the OVC over the past four seasons where the Golden Eagles have a combined record of 42-32, but he admits that it is always a challenge to win within the conference.
“It’s going to be the most competitive race in all the years I’ve coached,” said Blair. ”The top eight will battle all season.”
During his time at TTU, Blair’s players have amassed numerous awards including 11 all-OVC awards, five all-OVC Tournament awards, six all-OVC Newcomer awards, as well as an OVC Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards.
Blair’s players have also excelled in the classroom as they have earned one Academic All-American and four Academic All-District IV awards as well as 61 OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll awards during his time at TTU.
Blair coached at the University of Mississippi for 16 years prior to coming to Tennessee Tech. As the Rebel’s winningest coach, Blair coached six all-Southeastern Conference players. With 12 SEC tournament appearances to his credit while at Ole Miss, Blair brought with him a proven ability to win.
In his tenure at Mississippi, he had an impressive 70 SEC Academic Honor Roll students and four earned Academic All-America Honors.
Blair served three seasons as assistant volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee. While with the Lady Vols, he helped UT capture SEC titles in 1983 and 1984.
Blair, 60 , also served as head coach at the University of Illinois from 1980 through 1982, after spending one season as an assistant coach for the Illini. His 1980 Illinois team participated in the AIAW National Championship Tournament.
A native of Knoxville, Blair earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Tennessee in 1976. He played volleyball for the Volunteers under coach Bud Fields, who led the team to a ninth-place finish in the open nationals in 1976. He competed in the World University Games in 1973 and was a member of the United States training team for the Pan Am Games in 1974 and the U.S. National training team in 1975.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Blair coached the South men’s team to a gold medal in 1986 and a bronze medal in 1987 in the U.S. Olympic Festival and led the Texas Stars USA Volleyball team to the 1996 championship in the men’s master’s division.