OCALA--The College of Central Florida athletic department has appointed Israel Delgado to take over as head coach for the Lady Patriot volleyball program. Delgado becomes just the third head coach since the program's inception in 2011 and will officially take over effective March 1.

"I am so excited to be here and start a new beginning at Central Florida," said Delgado, who brings more than 25 years of coaching experience to the CF volleyball program. "I'm just ready to get going."

Delgado comes to CF after serving as an assistant coach for current and former conference rivals, Santa Fe College and Polk State College. Delgado helped lead Santa Fe to its first-ever trip to the NJCAA national tournament, finishing fourth, in 2016 and followed that up by leading Polk to a NJCAA No. 5 finish in 2017.

"My goal at CF will be to do the same thing (return to the national tournament)," said Delgado. "I'm excited to help continue the winning tradition at CF."

The Lady Patriots are the reigning seven-time Mid-Florida Conference Champions. CF has been to the NJCAA national tournament and finished Top 10 nationally four of seven years, but has missed the national tournament the previous two seasons.

Prior to moving to Florida, Delgado coached at many levels in Puerto Rico for 21 years. His experience includes stints with the national team, the University of Puerto Rico, and Club Borinquen Coqui Volleyball, one of the premier clubs in Puerto Rico.

Delgado is excited to get going and bring electric volleyball to the Ocala community.

"Community, be ready because we are going to have an excellent season and bring the excitement of volleyball to Central Florida."