Wittenberg athletics has announced the hiring of Ryan Thompson as the second men's volleyball coach in program history. A native of Elk Grove, Ill., Thompson most recently spent the last four years (2014-2017) as an assistant coach for the NCAA Men's Div. III team at Carthage College. During his tenure, the team won four regular season conference championship, two conference tournaments and was selected to go to the NCAA Men's Div. III Championships twice. In 2014, the team reached the Final Four, and in 2016, the team made it to the Elite Eight.
"Ryan comes to us with experiences at all levels of boy's and men's volleyball. He serves as a director for a successful club in the Milwaukee area, has coordinated camps and clinics at all levels, had experience coaching in Division I at Marquette University, and has played for, coached for and been mentored by LJ Marx from Carthage, historically, one of the premier Division III men's programs in the country," said Director of Athletics Dr. Gary Williams.
"We are excited to welcome Ryan to Wittenberg University and look forward to him joining our volleyball community and seeing where he can take our program."
In addition to coaching at Carthage, Thompson has spent the last three years building the Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club's boys program from the ground up. He currently serves on the club's board of directors and is the boys' program director for the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based organization. This season he is finishing up coaching the Boys 15-Gold team, which qualified for the Open Division for nationals being held in Columbus July 4-7. In 2016, he coached the Milwaukee Sting 18-Gold team to a fifth place finish in the Open Division at the Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas. The previous year, he led the Milwaukee Sting 17-Gold team to a fifth-place finish in the Open Division at nationals in Columbus, Ohio.
Prior to that, Thompson spent eight years at West Allis Lightning as a boys coach for teams of various age levels, all of which qualified for the Open Division of Boys Junior Nationals. In 2007, his team finished fifth in 15 Open, in 2013, his team finished third in 15 Open and in 2014, his team finished ninth in 16 Open.
Throughout his many years as a club volleyball coach, he has had five athletes named to the USAV All-Tournament team, three athletes named Fab 50 by Volleyball Magazine, three athletes named to the U.S. Men's Junior National Team and two athletes named to the U.S. Boys Youth National Team.
Thompson is also a Carthage alum who played for the men's team from 2004-2007. In both 2005 and 2007, his team finished runner-up at the Molten Div. 3 National Championships (as it was known before 2012). Also while at Carthage, Thompson's team won the 2004 NIRSA Div. II championship for college club teams in Charlotte, N.C.
He also serves as a camp clinician for Carthage College and has helped with the Badger Region and National High Performance programs. During the 2015 NCAA Women's Division I Volleyball Season, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Marquette University, a team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the fifth year in a row under head coach Ryan Theis.