In head coach Tim Gaiser’s first three years with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy volleyball program he has won the Skyline Conference Championship (2017), earned the automatic qualifying bid to the 2017 NCAA III Women’s Volleyball Tournament, won a Skyline Conference Regular Season Championship (2018), a Skyline Conference Regular Season Co-Championship (2016), qualified the program for the Skyline Conference Volleyball Playoffs all three years and played in and hosted two conference finals (2016 & 2017). He has coached one AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, one AVCA All-Region Selection, one AVCA Region Freshman of the Year, one ECAC Metro Region Rookie of the Year, six Skyline All-Conference First Team selections and three Skyline Second Team All-Conference selections. Gaiser mentored the 2017 Skyline Conference Championship’s Most Outstanding Player Award recipient, Dominique Pope (Silver Spring, Md.), and recruited and coached USMMA’s first volleyball All-American, Taylor Gilbertson (Phoenix, Ariz.). Coach Gaiser has compiled a 54-23 overall record, for a .701 winning percentage and tallied a 28-3 conference record for a .903 Skyline regular season winning percentage.
Statistically, the Kings Point volleyball program finished each season as one of the top defensive teams in the country. In 2016, Merchant Marine posted an impressive 2nd place ranking in holding opponents to the lowest hitting percentage in the country. They followed that up in 2017 with a 5th place national ranking, and, in 2018, KP Volleyball was an NCAA Statistical Champion in team defense, holding opponents to a .055 hitting percentage compared to the 423 NCAA Division III programs used in the rankings. Additionally, Gaiser’s players have accumulated 11 Skyline Conference Player of the Week and 12 Skyline Rookie of the Week awards, while 12 players were named to the Skyline Volleyball Honor Roll. Two players earned Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of Week honors, three received ECAC Rookie of the Week awards and one player was named the ECAC Rookie of the Month.
2018 was another excellent campaign for the Mariner volleyball program under Gaiser’s leadership. USMMA finished the Skyline Conference schedule with an unblemished 10-0 record, only dropping one set along the way. Head Coach Tim Gaiser’s squad earned a third-straight trip to the conference playoffs, garnering the #1 overall seed, but lost to the eventual tournament champions in the semifinals. Overall, the Mariners compiled an 18-6 overall record for a .750 winning percentage on the season. Three Midshipmen players were named First Team All-Conference by the Skyline and one received All-Sportsmanship accolades – senior co-captain Kate Lefler (Norman, Okla.) earned First Team All-Skyline, senior co-captain Megan Toler (Prunedale, Calif.) earned the All-Skyline Sportsmanship Award, junior Kyleigh Kappas (Parker, Colo.) earned First Team All-Conference and freshman Taylor Gilbertson earned First Team All-Skyline and was also named the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year, the ECAC Metro Region Rookie of the Year, was the American Volleyball Coaches Association pick as the Region’s Rookie of the Year, an All-Region Selection and an Honorable Mention All-American. Gilbertson’s national awards are all USMMA volleyball firsts for the program.
The 2017 season saw the United States Merchant Marine Academy volleyball program post 17-8 overall (.680) and 8-2 (.800) conference records on the way to the first conference championship for a women’s team at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy since 2004. With the 2017 Skyline Championship, the Mariners returned to the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Tournament for the first time since 2001 and senior Dominique Pope was named Skyline Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player. In the team effort during the regular season individual performances were recognized, senior co-captain Dominique Pope and sophomore Kyleigh Kappas were named to the Skyline Conference First Team, Junior Kate Lefler (Norman, Okla.) picked up Second Team All-conference, and senior Kayla Gleason was honored with a place on the All-sportsmanship Team. The 2017 season also saw Mariner Head Coach Tim Gaiser named as an American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA III Top-25 voting member and he was also named to the NCAA III Regional Advisory Committee.
2016 saw Tim Gaiser’s first season as head coach of the United States Merchant Marine Academy volleyball program and he compiled a solid 19-9 (.679) regular season record and an impressive 10-1 (.909) record in Skyline Conference action and a #2 seed in the conference tournament. In the first-year head coach’s inaugural season with the Mariners, the Kings Pointers collected a league regular season co-championship and the Skyline Conference Volleyball Tournament Runner’s-up trophy with the program’s first trip to a conference final in two decades. Junior Dominique Pope earned Skyline Conference First Team recognition, junior Kayla Gleason and freshman Kyleigh Kappas garnered Second Team All-conference status and senior Jordy MacBeth’s (Orlando, Fla.) leadership as co-captain and consistent play garnered her a spot on the Skyline Conference All-Sportsmanship Team.
Coach Gaiser is an instructor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. He is a lead instructor and co-created a new course within the department, PE&A440 Health and Wellness, a senior class elective, he is lead instructor in PE&A120 Basic Survival Swimming, an introductory course that lays the foundation for Midshipmen to survive in open water situations and Coach Gaiser is Red Cross First Aid, CPR &AED, Lifeguard, and Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certified. In addition to his duties in the classroom as a full-time faculty member, Gaiser has been selected as a member of the Core Planning Team to create for the United States Merchant Marine Academy its Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Athletic Director Mo White announced the hiring of Tim Gaiser as the head coach of the Mariner women's volleyball program in August of 2016.
"We are thrilled to have Tim joining us to lead the women's volleyball program," commented White. "Tim's extensive coaching history at both the D2 and D3 levels and his military experience have him well prepared to lead the team forward."
Gaiser brings over 20 years of volleyball coaching and officiating experience to Kings Point and most recently served as an assistant coach of the women's squad for the past two seasons at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Conn. With the Owls, he was responsible for scouting the opposition, practice planning and match management, as well as handling the team's travel, managing the team's budget, successfully organizing and executing recruiting plans, alumni relations and community service programs and spearheading the team's social media presence.
Prior to his stint at SCSU, Gaiser was the head coach at Mitchell College for the 2013 season, where he led the Mariners to the program's highest overall and conference win total since joining the New England Collegiate Conference. Gaiser also coached two of his student-athletes to the All-NECC Team and guided Mitchell to postseason play in the NECC Tournament.
He has also served as a head coach at SUNY Purchase College (men's team) and Quinnipiac University (women's) and was an assistant at Western Connecticut State (women's) and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (women's), where he earned the title Associate Head Coach.
In 2005, Gaiser was named Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference (HVMAC) Conference Coach of the Year at Purchase after leading an upstart program to the conference final and placing four players on the All-Conference team.
Gaiser is also an active member of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials and has officiated matches at the NCAA I, II and III levels since 1993. He has also served on the PAVO-CT executive board as Secretary.
A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Gaiser served honorably for four years of active duty from 1979-1983, reaching the rank of Corporal. He earned both an associate and bachelor's degree from Charter Oak State College in New Britain, Conn., and completed his master's degree in sport management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2013.
"I'm very thankful to Mrs. White and the Academy's administration for giving me this opportunity," exclaimed Gaiser. "This is a special place with a special history and a special mission. I am happy to be a part of it. The amount of commitment that the Midshipmen at the Academy have is unbelievable and to further represent the Academy in athletics speaks highly of their character. I am very excited for what I know will be a great year ahead!"