March 4, 2014
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State Director of Volleyball Brian Gimmillaro has announced that Erika Dillard will take over as the head coach of the Sand Volleyball program, effective for the 2014 campaign which begins Friday. Dillard assumes head coaching duties in replacement of Matt Ulmer, who has accepted a position at the University of Oregon.
Dillard nee Chidester was a two-time first-team All-Big West selection with women's volleyball, and has spent the past five seasons as the lead assistant for the women's volleyball program under head coach Brian Gimmillaro following the retirement of Debbie Green.
"I am honored to have been named the head coach, and I'm excited to train this team with the aim of returning to the AVCA Sand Championships," said Dillard. "This opening weekend in Hawaii is a great opportunity for our team, and I look forward to representing Long Beach State Sand Volleyball."
Dillard was also instrumental in leading Long Beach State to the 2013 AVCA National Championship, as the 49ers posted a 20-3 overall record and defeated Pepperdine in the championship match in her first season as an assistant coach with the program. Classified as an "Emerging Sport" by the NCAA, the AVCA title stands as the national championship, while the sport is on track to earn "Championship Sport" status from the NCAA in 2016, as the number of participating schools passed 40 starting in 2014.
Ulmer, who along with Dillard guided the 2013 Sand Volleyball title, will join the Oregon program under Jim Moore as the lead assistant coach for women's volleyball. A search for Ulmer's replacement for an assistant coach for both programs is underway.
No. 3 Long Beach State begins its title defense this Friday, traveling to the Hawai'i Kickoff Classic for three matches against No. 5 Hawai'i, No. 10 Stanford and Loyola Marymount in Honolulu. The 49ers will host Florida State on Wednesday, March 12, in the first home game of the season on the Long Beach State campus.
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