Hope College's only volleyball All-American will return to her alma mater as head coach.
The appointment of Rebecca (Becky) Schmidt to head Hope's volleyball program was announced today (Friday, Feb. 6) by Dr. Richard Ray, chair of the department of kinesiology.
Schmidt, a 1999 Hope graduate who has been the volleyball coach at the University of Redlands (Calif.) the past three years, will succeed Maureen Dunn who has guided the Hope volleyball program since 1997 and was Schmidt's coach her junior and senior years.
Dr. Dunn will remain a member of the college's kinesiology faculty. Her decision to stop coaching was based on her desire to have more time to raise her young children, Ray said. Maureen and Paul Dunn have two children.
"Maureen Dunn's contributions to the department of kinesiology and its programs are highly valued," said Ray. "She has been an excellent volleyball coach and we will certainly miss her expertise in this area, but we are grateful that her many talents as a professor and scholar in our exercise science program will be retained for the benefit of our students."
The Hope volleyball program has enjoyed unprecedented success under Dunn's tutelage. In her seven seasons as coach, the Flying Dutch won four Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs three times. Her overall record was 168-79 and against conference opponents she was 77-15. The 1998 team, when Schmidt achieved All-America recognition, won a school-record 33 matches.
"We are very excited to have Becky Schmidt return to Hope in her new role as a faculty member and coach. The enthusiasm and passion for everything she did as a student and athlete at Hope have translated very nicely into her professional life and we are pleased that our students will be the beneficiaries of that," said Ray.
Schmidt played middle blocker at Hope and ranked among the NCAA leaders in several statistical categories. She was voted the MIAA most valuable player as both a junior and senior. As a senior she became the first Hope volleyball player to receive NCAA Division III All-American honors. She also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
A kinesiology major, she received departmental recognitions for her academic work. Her senior year she was presented the John Schouten Award as the college's outstanding female student-athlete.
After graduation from Hope she was a graduate assistant volleyball coach at Miami University of Ohio while completing her master's degree in Sport Behavior and Performance. She became Redland's volleyball coach in 2001, inheriting a program that had posted a 6-40 record the previous two seasons. She compiled a 38-33 record in three seasons at the NCAA Division III institution.
She has also coached volleyball club teams in Michigan, Ohio and California. In California she has coached the Redlands Dragons 18s team and helped establish a volleyball development program for 12-year-olds. In 2002 she coached a USA Athlete's International volleyball team to a gold medal in the "Down Under Games" in Australia.
Schmidt is a 1994 graduate of Holland High School. While at Hope she was involved in the Holland community, volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity. She has continued her involvement with Habitat for Humanity in California.
She also serves as an assistant women's lacrosse team coach at Redlands.