Bucknell volleyball head coach Anna Allison has announced the addition of Kelly Bonja as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator on the Bison staff. Bonja comes to Lewisburg after spending the past three seasons at Tufts University, including two that ended with the Jumbos qualifying for the Division III NCAA Tournament.
“I am incredibly excited to have Kelly join us at Bucknell,” said Allison, who is set to begin her fifth season with the Bison. “She brings in a wealth of knowledge and a great passion for the game. Our serve/receive and defense especially will benefit tremendously from her expertise. She comes from a great volleyball background and has done great things at Tufts. Kelly also has a keen eye for talent and I am looking forward to having her join me on the recruiting trail, as well.”
A 2013 graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, Bonja has achieved a lot in a short period of time as an assistant coach, including American Volleyball Coaches Association National Assistant Volleyball Coach of the Year honors at the conclusion of the 2016 season. The award came after helping guide Tufts to a 27-4 record and three wins in the NCAA Tournament. The season finally came to an end with a 3-2 loss to Southwestern in the NCAA Quarterfinal Round. It was just the second time in program history that the Jumbos advanced to the quarterfinals. The coaching staff as a whole was named the New England Women’s Volleyball Association Coaching Staff of the Year and the NESCAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
Tufts also made it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament during Bonja’s first season with the team. During her three seasons as an assistant, the Jumbos went an impressive 66-21 overall and 26-4 in the NESCAC.
Bonja also served as the head assistant coach for both men’s and women’s teams of the San Gabriel Elite Volleyball Club from November 2013-July 2014. Prior to that, she spent one season as a volunteer assistant coach at Cal Poly Pomona.
During her four-year playing career at Cal Poly Pomona, Bonja was twice named team MVP and earned the Broncos’ Defensive Player of the Year award three times. A team captain her senior year, she went on to add second team all-conference honors. She was a four-year recipient of the CCAA Academic Award.
Bonja earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a concentration in kinesiology-pedagogy from Cal Poly Pomona in 2013. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sports leadership at Northeastern University.