Horsmon back at UD for second run as head coach

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Tim Horsmon was named as the 10th head coach in the University of Dayton volleyball program’s history, Dec. 18, 2013, replacing outgoing coach Matt Affolder. It is the second time Horsmon is UD’s head coach, previously holding the position during the 2003-2007 seasons. (Courtesy of UD Athletics)

By: Keith Raad – Staff Writer

New volleyball head coach Tim Horsmon returns to the University of Dayton after six seasons at the helm of women’s volleyball at the University of Maryland.

Before Maryland, Horsmon spent 2003 through 2007 as the Flyers head coach. At Dayton, he led the Flyers to an 128-43 overall record, Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championships in four of his five seasons, and produced four consecutive A-10 Players of the Year.

The hire was announced by the university Dec. 18, 2013. His competitive spirit could not be hindered in the hiring process.

“I’m highly competitive,” Horsmon said. “It’s one of the things that makes me and breaks me. My family sometimes looks at me sideways and says, ‘gosh that guy wants to win at everything,’ so I’m pretty intense.”

In his first two head coaching positions, Horsmon’s competitive spirit has given him nothing but unprecedented success.

“I think when I got to Robert Morris [University] I had no idea what I was doing, or what I was in for, or what college coaching was like,” Horsmon said.

Eight years out of college from Frostburg State University in Maryland, Horsmon took the head coaching position at RMU in Pittsburgh in 1999. Though humbled by his inexperience, his confidence led them to a 42-2 overall record in conference play and he won Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in two of his four seasons.

His success continued in Dayton.

Four NCAA Tournament appearances and a program-best CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll ranking of No. 12, Horsmon was donned the man who, according to UD Athletic Director Tim Wabler, “…doesn’t just know our winning culture, he helped establish it.”

For Horsmon, the return just feels right.

“You want to find a place that not only supports the program but is in an area or region where volleyball is popular and strong – from the coaching to all other pieces,” Horsmon said. “Dayton is one of those places. The culture here is great. The community loves volleyball. There are great volleyball players within three or four hours of the university.
The Midwest is the best region in the country for volleyball.”

Making a connection with his new players is his biggest challenge, and he has been nothing but open to coaching the Flyers.

“I think the timing is good,” Horsmon said. “I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to be successful here, but I want to learn from them about their success and figure out how to make it work on both ends.”

Horsmon’s now fourth head coaching position has given him the wherewithal to piece together the right kind of team.

“I learned from those experiences [at Maryland] and I’m a much better coach now than I was when I left,” Horsmon said.
“I think you gauge your team, who you are, and what needs to happen and try to fit all of those pieces together rather than trying to cram all those squares into circles and circles into squares.”

Coming from Maryland, Horsmon has brought on one of his Terrapin assistant coaches Audrey Ludwig.

“She’s incredibly intense, super driven, and extremely intelligent,” Horsmon said. “She’s a spark plug…She’s going to fit into this community and really enjoy it.”

Evan Muys, a volunteer assistant at Marquette University last season, joins Ludwig as the second assistant coach, announced by UD on Jan. 15.

“Evan was a real strong player himself,” Horsmon said. “He’s going to be a really great fit and balance for us. He’s young, hungry…and he’s going to have a long career in the game.”

With the spring season to work with his team, Horsmon returns to the Frericks Center.

The “once a Flyer, always a Flyer” mentality stuck.

“I’ve been teased walking around campus with people asking me about my old Dayton gear,” Horsmon said. “When I left there were things I kept and things I got rid of, but I kept my Dayton stuff.”