On The Mark: The AD Report: Pioneer Program Attracts Great Coach

Mark W. Massari
Mark W. Massari

Pioneer Program Attracts A Great Coach

During our celebration of the Thunderdome's 35-year history we refer to our storied women's volleyball program as a "Pioneer Program.” Even before Title IX enabled more women to compete and become supported and appreciated in a deserving manner, we had coaches and ladies who competed for the University before 1973. They were true pioneers. What they set the stage for was an incredible run by Kathy Gregory who led our Gauchos for 38 years.

During Kathy's tenure we were one of only four programs (Stanford, Penn State and Nebraska are the others) that made appearances in the first 26 consecutive NCAA women’s volleyball tournaments. Wow! Her remarkable career included 882 wins (fifth in NCAA history), Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight appearances, conference championships, All-Americans, a 100% graduation rate for four year student-athletes and some wonderful memories.

Replacing Kathy will be tough and our recent search was overwhelming at times with the quality of coaches who feel our program is a special place to build young women academically and into champions.

We have found the perfect fit.

This Thursday, February 14, we are welcoming the next leader for Gaucho volleyball, Nicole Lantagne Welch.  A California native, Nicole is coming to us from the University of Miami (Fla) where, amongst many accomplishments in her 12 years leading the Hurricanes, she was named ACC Coach of the Year last season. She is a national talent who was coveted by many.  We are truly excited and will detail more of her career and vision for Gauchos volleyball at the event.

Please join us for a press conference and meet-Nicole next Thursday (Feb. 14) in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus at 2 p.m. No RSVP required.

Thank you for supporting the University's 500 student-athletes in their efforts to achieve in academics, athletics and as a person. Thank you for providing the Gauchos the opportunity to succeed. 



Mark W. Massari
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics