Lauri Hakala begins his second season with the Waves in 2012-13, after being added to the staff in October 2011.
Hakala, a native of Pieksämäki, Finland, was an AVCA All-American outside hitter for the University of Hawaii from 2005-2007. He still ranks fifth in the Warriors' single-season record book for his 4.35 kills/set average that he achieved as a senior.
From there he went on to play professionally in Switzerland, Belgium and Finland. Hakala led the Lausanne Université Club to a Swiss Cup Championship and he was later named the Swiss League's Most Valuable Player.
Hakala also spent time playing with Tampereens Isku-Volley (Finland), Aquacare Halen (Belgium) and most recently he served as team captain for Finnish League member, Lentopalloseura ETTA.
His playing experience extends to the beach, where he earned six-consecutive podium finishes at the Finnish National Championships, from 2004-09.
As a junior player, he was a five-time Finnish beach volleyball champion and placed seventh in the U-23 division at the European Championships in 2004.
While still in prep school, Hakala began coaching for the Pieksämäen Tsemppi Boys U-16 club team. He then spent two seasons instructing the TSV Bad Saulgau Girls U-16 squad in Germany, before beginning his freshman season at Hawaii in 2004.
Hakala continued coaching at the club level while in college, and served as an assistant coach for the Outrigger Canoe Boys U-16 team from 2006-07.
After graduating, Hakala returned to Finland where he began coaching on the professional circuit. He spent one season as an assistant coach for Kempeleen Lentopallo, a men's team, before serving as an assistant coach for a professional women's team in his home town of Pieksämäki for two seasons.
Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Hakala served as a volunteer coach for the Swiss Men's National Team.
Hakala is a member of the board of directors for the Finnish Volleyball Association (FVA).
He graduated with a degree in speech from Hawaii in 2008 and speaks several languages including English, Finnish, Swedish and German. His parents Eila and Tauno, who both work in the medical field, and his brothers, Anssi and Juhani, all reside in Finland.