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Speak of the Devils

The premier podcast for Sun Devil football.

Oct 19, 2023

It's funny what twists and turns life has in store sometimes. One day, you're in the middle of a successful career in finance. The next, you're leading a volleyball resurgence in the desert.

JJ Van Niel was a SoCal guy, who dabbled a bit in volleyball as a kid before going on to play club hockey at USC. He then spent 12 years working in the financial sector before a chance encounter sent him on a path of coaching volleyball that has included stops with the US Women's National Team, the Olympic Games, Utah, and USC before being named Arizona State's head coach this past December.

The turnaround has been immediate. After posting just one winning season in the last 7 years, Van Niel's Devils are currently 18-2 and ranked No. 17 in the nation following a massive straight sets win over No. 5 Oregon this past Sunday.

In this episode, JJ and I discuss the hot start to the season, why he came to ASU, how he went from the hockey rink to the volleyball court, the best dishes from the team's "Chopped" competitions, and more.