Windle named head volleyball coach


Story by Levi Blaylock, Writer

The Baker University Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Matt Windle as the new head volleyball coach after long time coach Kathy Allen’s retirement.

Allen coached 18 seasons for the Wildcats and built a record of 386-226, making her the winningest coach in Baker Athletics history.

“I’m sad to see coach Allen go and appreciate what she has done for the program,” freshmen Madeline McCrary said. “However, I am thrilled to have Coach Windle the next two years while I’m at Baker.”

Windle is familiar with the past success that Baker volleyball has had. He previously served as the lead assistant volleyball coach under coach Allen from 2008-2013.

“I think it will be a really smooth transition,” senior Danielle French said. “Windle knows how Kathy ran things and while he will add his own spin on things he knows the background of the program. I think he’s a great fit for the position.”

While assistant, Windle was part of some of the Wildcats most successful years. Baker posted a 144-64 record in those five years, highlighted by a program record 32-4 mark in the 2009 season and a 2011 Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season championship.

“Windle brings a lot to the table,” French said. “I felt like he was really able to help me transition into the college game and bring out those skills that are necessary to succeed. He relates well to his players and is able to figure out what works best for them.”

Windle’s ability to develop players will be much needed for a young Baker team, which had 13 underclassmen on the 20-person roster this past season.

Windle has been very involved in Baker athletics since he started coaching at the college level. Along with his collegiate volleyball experience he was also the head softball coach for Baker from 2009-2013. During that time he held an overall record of 120-99 and a conference record of 55-39. Windle also holds the title as the assistant director of athletics-finance.

Windle has had plenty of coaching experience in the Lawrence area, starting as the assistant varsity coach at Lawrence Free State High School, where he helped Free State capture numerous league championships and a state runner-up finish.

He spent two years as the head coach of the University of Kansas’ club team as well as the Heartland Juniors head coach. He also spent two years as the club director/head coach of the Lawrence Select Club team.

Windle’s resume may have some pull with recruits from the surrounding area. The Wildcats will be able to use this offseason to get accustomed to their new coach as well as work toward building off of their 2015 season, when they posted a 16-15 record.

“As a team we have started spring conditioning and will get floor time after basketball season,” McCrary said. “In addition we will attend a couple spring tournaments in April.”

This coaching change marks a new era for BU volleyball.

“Change is unsettling for anyone, but I believe the team is ready to take on the next chapter of the Baker volleyball program,” McCrary said.