Mueller named new volleyball head coach
Michael Bauer | sports editor
The Pittsburg State volleyball team has opened up a new chapter in the program’s history book.
After 15 years of transforming the Gorillas from a doormat into national qualifiers, head coach Ibraheem Suberu retired on Thursday, Nov. 21.
To lead the Gorillas forward, Pitt State picked a familiar face by promoting assistant coach Jenny Mueller to head coach.
Mueller was introduced as the new coach on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at John Lance Arena.
“It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to move up to head coach,” Mueller said during her introductory press conference. “There are some big shoes to fill.”
Mueller has served the last three seasons as the Gorillas’ assistant coach behind Suberu.
The Gorillas finished the 2013 season with a 16-16 record.
With a handful of players returning, including Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) volleyball freshman of the year Madison Mosier as well as two other All-MIAA honorees in sophomore Hayley Hansford and junior Paula Okrutna returning, Mueller says she believes the Gorillas have a solid foundation to build on.
“We have outstanding players coming in. It’s an exciting time for Pitt State volleyball,” she said. “It’s a tremendous foundation to thrive on.”
Mueller says she has learned from other coaching techniques over the years and while she describes herself as a “laid-back person” she says her coaching style could change.
“You learn a lot from the different styles. The ladies will see me change from an assistant to a head coach,” Mueller said. “There will be a few things different.”
Being a head coach is nothing new for Mueller. Prior to joining PSU, she served as head coach at William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., from 2008-10. Mueller was also the head coach at the junior college level, coaching Coffeyville Community College for three years. She has also had assistant coaching stints at fellow MIAA schools Central Missouri and Washburn.
At William Woods, Mueller guided the Owls to a 64-43 overall record, which included a 29-7 mark in 2009. At WMU, Mueller mentored two NAIA All-Americans, 10 All-Conference honorees as well as 19 student athletes who garnered Academic All-Conference recognition.
Mueller has been active in club volleyball, coaching the LaCoMo and Topeka Impact Force Volleyball Clubs, before making the transition to Pittsburg and serving an integral role with the Pittsburg YMCA Star Aquila team.
Mueller is a graduate of Central Missouri where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998 and added a master’s of science in physical education and sports science from UCM in 2007.
“We are excited about the future of the Gorilla volleyball program with coach Mueller leading our squad,” said Jim Johnson, athletic director, in a press release. “Jenny has earned the trust and respect of our student-athletes. She has illustrated strong leadership qualities during her time working with coach Suberu and her coaching background and experiences have positioned her for continued success.”