Was this year’s volleyball team the last of its kind, or the first?
As interim head coach, Laura Bush’s job in 2011 — at least part of it — was to lead an effective transition between the coaching eras of Mike Hebert and Hugh McCutcheon.
Hebert retired in December 2010, and Minnesota hired McCutcheon, the head coach of the gold medal-winning 2008 U.S. men’s Olympic volleyball team, two months later.
McCutcheon’s era officially begins September 2012 when he will be released from his duties as head coach of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic volleyball team following the London Olympics.
While McCutcheon’s hire is expected to boost the program in the long run, the Gophers’ near future may be limited to rebuilding.
Minnesota signed just two players this fall — outside hitter Karlie Hauer and libero Lindsey Lawmaster — to join the team as freshmen in 2012.
Yet the program graduates three of its best players — Hailey Cowles, libero Jessica Granquist and middle blocker Ariana Filho.
The team’s senior leadership next season will likely come from setter Mia Tabberson, Katherine Harms and role player Brianna Haugen.
Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman, the team’s All-Big Ten honorees, return as juniors.
“The program is in a good position when Hugh takes it over,” Bush said. “It’ll actually be stronger, I think, with the addition of some personnel and players already know the system.”
Even next year?
“I see nothing but good things for the 2012 season,” Bush said.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
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