Dalton Tucker has been named the new head coach of women's volleyball at Westminster College, Director of Athletics Matt Mitchell announced the hiring on Thursday. Tucker replaces Natalia Koryzna, who accepted a head coaching position at NCA Division II St. Leo University last month. Tucker spent last season as an assistant coach at Illinois College, helping guide the Lady Blue to a 5-4 record during the pandemic shortened 2020-21 season.
A 2017 graduate from Robert Morris University in Chicago, Tucker was a star libero for the Eagles. During his playing career, he was a three-time First Team All-CCAC selection, a six-time NAIA National Libero of the Week and an Honorable Mention All-American.
After graduation, he was hired to be an assistant coach at the University of Illinois Springfield an NCAA Division II program in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. He helped the Prairie Stars engineer an 11-win improvement in the 2017 season. Following that season, Tucker was hired by Grinnell College and was on the sidelines as the Pioneers finished second in the Midwest Conference in 2018. Tucker also coached the Springfield Shock VBC, a position he began in 2017, and led the club team to a second-place finish at the AAU National Championships.
Tucker is no stranger to the success of the Westminster College volleyball program. During the 2019 season Tucker was an assistant at former conference foe MacMurray College where he helped the Highlanders to a 18-16 overall record and 12-6 in the SLIAC which was good for a fourth-place finish in the conference. He then was instrumental in the Highlanders win over top seeded Greenville University in the semifinals and a spot in the SLIAC Championship where they faced none other than the Blue Jays that he now finds himself the head coach of. He will be re-united at Westminster with SLIAC second team all-conference setter Gretchen Durbala (Burlington, IA. / Burlington) who he previously coached at MacMurray.
"I am deeply honored to have been chosen as the next head coach to lead the Blue Jays volleyball program!" said Tucker. "I am beyond excited for the opportunity to join the Westminster volleyball family. I would like to thank AD Matt Mitchell and the entire staff here at Westminster for investing in me. I can't wait to get started this fall and to continue building on the current success that's already underway. Go Blue Jays!"
"I am very excited to welcome Dalton as the next head coach of our very successful women's volleyball program," said Westminster College Athletic Director Matt Mitchell. "His background as an established club coach and experienced assistant coach in the college ranks makes him an excellent fit for our program. His experience in our conference was also a big plus. With his experience and knowledge, I am excited about the opportunity for our volleyball program to continue its success for years to come with Dalton at the helm."
The Blue Jays enter the 2021 season coming off of a season that saw them rise to a #10 American Volleyball Coaches Association national ranking, which was the highest ranking in school and SLIAC history. Westminster also won the 2020 SLIAC regular season championship, finishing co-champions with Greenville University with a 13-3 overall record and 11-2 in the SLIAC. The Jays have also made it to back to back SLIAC Tournament Championship Games, winning it all in 2019. The 2021 women's volleyball schedule is set to be released in July. Check back on www.wcbluejays.com for all your Westminster College athletics information.