Sara Matthews named Delaware volleyball head coach
Assistant Sports Editor
Sara Matthews was named Delaware volleyball head coach by athletic director Chrissi Rawak Thursday afternoon.
Matthews, 37, is the fifth volleyball head coach in Delaware’s history. She spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Christian University. She has also worked at West Virginia University (2012-2014) and the University of Southern California (2008-2010). Delaware, however, will be her first opportunity at a head coaching job.
“Everything is in place for student-athletes to have a top-notch experience,” Matthews said in a press release. “Great academics, a fun college town, first-rate facilities and an athletic department that is doing everything to support each team. I couldn’t be more ecstatic to get going with this team.”
As part of TCU’s coaching staff, Matthews has made NCAA tournament appearances in both of her last two seasons. This past season, the Horned Frogs finished with a 15-13 record and advanced as far as the second round in the NCAA tournament. In her first year, the team was 19-10 in her and made a first round exit in the tournament that year.
As a player, Matthews was an All-CAA selection at James Madison in the 1997-1998 seasons before she transferred to Kansas. At Kansas, Matthews earned Big 12 All-Academic First Team honors in 2000.
Matthews has been heralded for her recruiting ability. TCU’s 2016 recruiting class was ranked 15th in the nation and included 18th ranked player Abigail Buckingham, TCU’s highest ranked recruit in program history, according to Prepvolleyball.com. Matthews’ recruiting classes at West Virginia were given Honorable Mention by Prepvolleyball.com.
Matthews replaced Bonnie Kenny, who began as Delaware’s volleyball head coach in 2002. Kenny was fired on Oct. 16 more than a week after she was placed on administrative leave by the university. Assistant coach Cindy Gregory was also put on administrative leave at the same time and was also fired on Oct. 16. Nearly three months later, Delaware has yet to provide reason for the coaches’ midseason departure.
Following the firings, Director of Operations Brian Toron, assistant coach Dana Griskowitz and former player Colleen Caskey led the team, with Toron assuming the interim head coach tag. Under their guidance, the team won 10 of their last 15 games in the regular season, after starting 6-11, to finish with a 16-16 record. Delaware made a surge into the postseason, advancing to the CAA Tournament final before losing to James Madison.
With the volleyball head coach vacancy filled, Rawak has now hired four new head coaches since being named athletic director last May. According to Rawak, Matthews was a pristine fit for the Delaware program.
“It became very clear early in our search that Sara was a great fit here at Delaware,” Rawak said in a press release. “She brings with her impeccable credentials as a top-notch recruiter and coach—she is the quintessential student of the game.”