Where are They Now? Dan Buehring, professionally ranked beach volleyball player
Jane Donahue For The Sun March 7, 2013 5:58PM
Dan Buehring, 27, a 2004 Naperville Central High School graduate, is a professionally ranked beach volleyball player and the assistant coach for the Loyola University women’s volleyball program. | courtesy of Steve Woltmann
Updated: April 11, 2013 6:06AM
It’s been almost a decade since Dan Buehring was named The Sun’s Volleyball Player of the Year, and the 2004 Naperville Central High School graduate is still at it.
Today, the 27-year-old is a professionally ranked beach volleyball player and mentor to a future generation of players as the assistant coach for the Loyola University women’s volleyball program.
“I always had ‘normal’ career aspirations and interests, but in the back of my head, I always wanted to try to play the sport professionally,” Buehring said. “My experience (as a player) has helped me to better relate (as a coach). It is one thing to know the solution and things they should do; it is wholly another to draw insight from my own experiences than listen closely to that athlete.”
Buehring played in college at California Baptist University, where he earned a business degree in 2004. He went on to the University of Illinois Chicago for his master’s degree in education, and spent three years on the Flames coaching staff before being hired by Loyola University in 2012.
“(The best part about coaching is the) relationships,” said Buehring, who lives in Chicago. “I most enjoy the power in relationships with the young people I work with and the fact that the strength in those relationships allows me to positively affect their lives. It is such a privilege and joy to serve as a mentor to these young women at times.”
Chris Muscat, head women’s volleyball coach at Loyola University, said Buehring “has been an instrumental piece to the turnaround at Loyola.”
“It is his passion and commitment to the vision of the importance of physical and mental development of the athletes at Loyola that makes him special,” Muscat said. “He is truly invested in helping create a culture that adds value and uniqueness to the Loyola experience. He continues to push our athletes to be process oriented as they continue their journey towards excellence.”
Buehring said as a coach, his goal is to “first look to understand, observe and listen to the athletes, then help the athletes understand our insight, knowledge and coaching.”
“There is so much potential for development in myriad ways through the athletic experience, and I want to encourage these young women to fully and personally invest in that process and the value therein.”
When he isn’t coaching, he takes his game outdoors.
“I still compete in beach volleyball tournaments around the Midwest,” he said. “It’s a small and special community of people who are passionate about the sport. I love competing on the sand and continuing to do so helps me understand the competitive challenges I ask our athletes to engage with.”
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