For decades, Alan Knipe has carried a legacy at Long Beach State from a volleyball player to a volleyball coach. Today, he continues this legacy as the men’s volleyball coach.
But what makes this period a lot more different at The Beach is his sons, Aidan and Evan, are both student-athletes at LBSU.
During his years of studying at LBSU, Knipe played on the volleyball team for three years, receiving numerous honors including all-conference (First team, 1992; Second team, 1991) and All-NCAA tournament (1991) accolades, according to the Long Beach State website.
Currently, Alan Knipe continues to create success as the Men’s Volleyball coach as he has taken The Beach to six NCAA Final Fours since 2016. Followed by that, he has found himself and the team in a pair of conference tournament championships, 13 MPSF tournament appearances, three Big West Tournament appearances, and three NCAA championships.
Alan has taken The Beach to six NCAA Final Fours-four since 2016 – a pair of conference tournament championships, 13 MPSF tournament appearances, three Big West Tournament appearances, and three NCAA championships.
In 2006, Knipe was officially inducted into the inaugural Long Beach State Men’s Volleyball Wall of Honor. The wall was made to recognize former volleyball players with extreme success and achievement who represent Long Beach State.
In 2011, Knipe was inducted into the Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame.
It is now a complete family that has attended LBSU, as Evan the youngest in the family is officially attending the school as a redshirt on the Dirtbags baseball team.
“It’s actually kinda cool, my very first baseball team was the Dirtbags,” Evan Knipe said.
Evan, a freshman history major, said he knew around eight years old that he wanted to play college baseball. It came to no surprise when Knipe committed to LBSU where both his parents once attended, and after seeing his older brother become a factor to the men’s volleyball team.
“It’s definitely something unique, I mean, my brother being here. I can always go see my brother, he lives right across the street from me, I see him constantly on campus, and having my dad here is pretty cool,” Evan said. “Even my mom [Jennifer Knipe] went here, she got three degrees from Long Beach, so it’s been pretty good just having everyone here as a support system,”
Volleyball remains a big part of Evan’s life, but his passion lies within the snap of a glove from a baseball.
Although pressure is a questioned factor in the family dynamic, Alan Knipe remains proud of his boys for being who they are and living their life.
“It is really special to see them just living their best life and loving their college experience and loving the teams they’re participating with,” Knipe said.
While Aidan is listed as a redshirt sophomore, he is academically listed as a senior this year and will be graduating with a degree in consumer affairs.
The pressure to be the son of a legend is no stranger to Aidan, but it doesn’t hold him back.
“I don’t think that’s impossible to avoid, that will always be in the back of my mind,” Aidan said. “I would say it’s not something that affects me on a daily basis, just because he and I were in different positions and from different eras, but I would definitely say it’s always something in the back of my mind.”
During his years playing volleyball, Alan Knipe played middle and center. Aidan currently plays setter on the team.
Alan Knipe also said that “as a coach, you want to make sure you’re coaching everyone the same,” but no one will ever know him like his son.
“No player on our team, historically, would know me like he knows me, you know, he gets to see me at every point of my life,” Alan Knipe said. “I think we found a really good spot, of how to do this together. It means the world to Aidan to be here to play volleyball, it’s super important to him, so because of that, I think we’re in a really good rhythm of just coaching like we would coach any other setter.”
The two boys continue to make their parents proud on and off the field or gym.
“We’re really proud of them for the people they are,” Alan said. “The students they are, you know, the kids they are, the family members they are to our entire family and we feel blessed.”