MARQUETTE - Jim Moore and Mark Rosen led the Northern Michigan University volleyball program to back-to-back NCAA Division II national championships - Moore in 1993 and Rosen in 1994.
Now, both former Wildcat coaches are one step away from returning to the national championship game, this time at the Division I level.
Rosen leads the unranked University of Michigan volleyball team against No. 3 Texas in the NCAA Div. I Final Four tonight while Moore's No. 5 University of Oregon team takes on top-seeded Penn State.
Oregon head volleyball coach Jim Moore, who coached Northern Michigan University to its first NCAA Division II title in 1993, talks with his players during a regional practice Dec. 6 in Omaha, Neb. Oregon plays Penn State tonight in the NCAA Division I Final Four. On the other half of the bracket is the coach who led NMU to its second national title in 1994, Mark Rosen, who now coaches at Michigan. (AP file photo)
The Wolverines and Longhorns meet in the first national semifinal game in Louisville, Ky., at 7 p.m. with the Ducks and Nittany Lions squaring off at 9 p.m. Both games are televised on ESPN 2 with the national championship set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Moore coached the Wildcats from 1989-93 and from 2003-04. He led NMU to its first national championship in 1993 after reaching the NCAA title game in 1992 and quarterfinals in 1991.
Moore left NMU following the 2004 season to coach Kansas State and later Texas, taking KSU to its first NCAA tournament in 1996 and the Longhorns to three-straight NCAA tourneys, plus a Big 12 title.
When Moore returned to Marquette a decade later, he took Northern to the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2003 and the quarterfinals in 2004.
Moore finished with a 173-63 record in eight seasons in Marquette with four GLIAC titles before leaving with his wife and assistant coach, NMU Sports Hall of Famer Stacy Metro, for Oregon in 2005.
Now in their eighth season with the Ducks, Moore and Metro's teams have reached the NCAA tournament in five of the last six seasons, but never advanced beyond the Sweet 16 of the 64-team tournament.
Rosen followed Moore in Marquette in 1994, guiding the Wildcats to their second national title. Rosen only lost 16 matches and won three GLIAC titles in his four years at NMU. He reached the Final Four in all four years, finishing second, third and fourth, respectively, following the 1994 title.
Rosen, who finished with 134 wins at NMU, left for Boise State in 1998 and then took over Michigan in 1999.
In Rosen's 14 seasons in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines have reached the NCAA tournament 11 times with the best run coming in 2009 to the Elite Eight. Michigan has reached the Sweet 16 in five of the last six seasons.
Moore's Ducks enter tonight's national semifinal with a 29-4 overall record having beaten Northern Colorado, Dayton, No. 12 BYU and No. 4 Nebraska in the NCAA tournament. All four losses came in Pac 12 play where Oregon went 16-4 to finish second in the league.
Rosen's Wolverines are 27-11 after finishing seventh in the Big Ten at 11-9. Michigan upset Tennessee, No. 10 Louisville, Michigan State and No. 2 Stanford to reach the Final Four.
Big Ten champion Penn State is 33-2 entering tonight's matches while Big 12 champion Texas is 26-4.