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Volleyball, Then and Now: Karin Jinbo

Karin Jinbo led the Huskies to a 54-18 record in her two seasons.
July 12, 2017

Then and Now: Stephanie Schindel : Heather Gold | Ann Callahan

STORRS, Conn. –
After spending two years in junior college, Karin Jinbo transferred to UConn to play on the volleyball team – a decision that proved beneficial for both her and the program in 1993 and 1994.

The Huskies achieved their two winningest seasons as a program with Jinbo on the roster, including a record 28 wins in 1993. The following year, UConn won 26 matches on its way to being named Big East Tri-Champions.

At the forefront of this success was Jinbo, who earned 1994 Big East Second Team All-Conference honors by leading the Huskies with 1,351 assists. As a junior, she had a team-high 1,215 assists in her inaugural season in Storrs.

Under the leadership of Ellen Crandall, the program leader in wins by a head coach (142), Jinbo was a welcome addition as the team’s primary setter. In 1994, the Huskies qualified for the program’s first-ever postseason appearance – competing in the National Invitational Championship in Kansas City, Mo.

Originally from Venice, Calif., Jinbo helped the Huskies to an overall record of 54-18 (13-3 Big East) in her two seasons of play, before graduating in the spring of 1995.

Catch up with Karin by reading her responses below in this edition of “UConn Volleyball: Then and Now.”

Where do you live now?

Fairfield, CA – Not many people know where that is, so I describe it as halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco, where you can find the famous Jelly Belly Candy factory. 

What was your major at UConn?

Special Education (B.S.) and Education (M.A.)

Where do you currently work?

I am the Coordinator of Behavioral Health in Novato Unified School District. 

As well, I am an Independent Contractor as a national trainer of the NASP PREPARE Curriculum for crisis prevention and intervention in schools.

Where did your interest in volleyball originally come from?

My brother introduced me to it when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Growing up in Venice, California finding a volleyball game wasn’t too difficult. My older brother played and showed me how to pass and set and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to try out for an organized team. 

What is your favorite memory as a UConn volleyball player?

Jerry Martin’s strength programs and running the stadium stairs (when they existed).  Hahaha just kidding. I loved competing.  “Winners!”  Beating Pitt and being the first team in UConn volleyball history to compete in a postseason tournament. 

What do you miss the most about life as a UConn student-athlete?

I miss the simplicity of it all…my teammates, being a part of the athletics department, and the simplicity of college life.  

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment since graduating?

There is a lot that I am proud of since graduating and can’t point to one specific “greatest” accomplishment.  I am very proud to have raised a smart, empathetic, young man who is now a college student.  I am a very proud forever home to a foster daughter who is a Navy sailor stationed in San Diego.  I am very proud of having built a career helping at-risk and underserved students in the public school system.  And, am a very proud UCONN alum! #BleedBlue