Theis Named Marquette's Head Women's Volleyball Coach
Feb. 14, 2014
MILWAUKEE - Ryan Theis has been named the fifth head women's volleyball coach in Marquette University history, interim vice president and director of athletics Bill Cords announced Friday.
Theis (pronounced: TICE), a 2000 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate, returns to Milwaukee after a six-year tenure at Ohio University, where he led the squad to a record of 144-54 (.727). That winning percentage places him third in the history of the Mid-American Conference and 18th among all active NCAA Division I head coaches.
"We welcome Ryan as the new head coach of the Marquette volleyball program," Cords said. "Ryan has experienced success at every level of college volleyball with a proven track record as a head coach. He has worked his way up the coaching ladder and has seen success at every level. We were most impressed with how he has grown at every stage of his career and at the same time helped make the programs he worked for better. We are very confident in the future of Marquette volleyball under Ryan Theis."
Under his leadership, the Bobcats made four NCAA Championship appearances, including a pair of trips to the second round (2009 and 2010), and claimed four MAC tournament championships. Both NCAA second round defeats came at the hands of seeded-hosts in pivotal fifth sets.
"I am excited to return to my home state and Marquette has always been a place where I knew I wanted to be," Theis said. "I am so thrilled that 15 years after I started my coaching career I am able to make that dream a reality. I have always had a great deal of respect for the University and love the city of Milwaukee. I am excited to compete for BIG EAST championships and push deep into the NCAA tournament."
A two-time MAC Coach of the Year (2009 and 2013), Theis mentored three AVCA All-Americans during his tenure in Athens and helped 13 players earn all-conference accolades, including three conference player of the year selections.
Theis, a native of Madison, Wis., leaves Ohio tied with current Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston, whom he replaced in 2008, for the most victories in Bobcats' history with 144. He compiled a 79-17 (.823) record in league action at Ohio while winning three regular season league titles (six East Division championships) and was a combined 28-4 over his final two conference campaigns.
His 2013 team, which featured AVCA All-Americans Abby Gilleland and Kelly Lamberti, finished 27-6 overall, swept No. 8 Oregon and No. 21 Western Kentucky, and climbed as high as 18th in the AVCA Coaches' Poll. The Bobcats also ranked 23rd nationally in attendance in 2013 as an average of 1,719 fans packed the Convocation Center.
Theis also placed a great deal of emphasis on his student-athletes' success in the classroom as his squad's collective grade point average never dipped below a 3.28 during his final five years at Ohio and multiple players earned Academic All-MAC honors each season.
The team also achieved a top-10 APR score during the first four years of Theis' tenure and earned multiple AVCA Team Academic Awards.
Prior to his arrival in Athens, Theis accumulated eight years of NCAA Division I coaching experience at various stops. In addition to his coaching duties, he spent six of those years in the role of recruiting coordinator at three different institutions.
Theis spent two seasons at the University of Florida (2006-07) as offensive and recruiting coordinators. During his two seasons in Gainesville the Gators compiled an overall record of 59-6 (38-2 Southeastern Conference), won a pair of conference titles and advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals.
His first recruiting class at Florida, which comprised the Gators' freshman class in 2007, included two of the nation's top 30 high school players and rated among the 10 best classes in the country. Theis was also critical in the signing of the Gators' 2008 class, which featured four players in the national top 30, including the top overall recruit, and was named the nation's No. 1 class by PrepVolleyball.com.
He also helped teams at each of his previous assistant coaching stops - Northwestern, Indiana and Eastern Illinois - to NCAA tournament appearances.
Theis began his collegiate playing career at Milwaukee in 1996, but the program was discontinued after the season. He then served as head coach while playing for the UW-Milwaukee club team from 1997-00, and was a two-time All-Midwest 10 selection as a setter and a three-time team captain. In 1999-00, he also worked as a student assistant for the women's scholarship team while earning his bachelor's degree in kinesiology.
Theis, 35, and his wife, Jenny, have two sons, Carter and Caleb.
What others are saying about Theis:
"I think Marquette hired a winner. His teams are always technically sound and play the game hard and in the right way. I think it's a great fit and he's a great addition to the state."
"Ryan Theis is a tremendous fit for Marquette. He is a hard-working and terrific coach and, as importantly, a wonderful person. I'm confident that the Golden Eagles will continue to be in great hands with Ryan as the next head coach of the program."
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