A team that competed in the NCAA Tournament one week ago will now have a new head coach.
Erskine announced Friday that it hired former Lindenwood assistant coach Justin Brubaker to be the Fleet’s new head coach for the upcoming season.
Lindenwood in Brubaker’s only year with the program finished last season 5-17 and narrowly missed the eight-team MIVA Tournament. Brubaker also spent two years as the head coach at Hannibal-LaGrange and guided the NAIA program to a 2014 postseason victory while having a 21-40 all-time record.
Along with his coaching experience, Brubaker played professionally in Europe where he earned most valuable player honors in the England Super 8 League and at the Swedish Grand Prix Championships.
“We were impressed with Justin two years ago when our volleyball position was open previously so it was logical to speak with him this time around,” Erskine athletics director Mark Peele said in a statement. “His passion for volleyball and his desire to be a role model in a Christian environment for his players makes him an attractive candidate for Erskine. He has his work cut out for him because we are graduating the majority of our squad but I believe he is up for the task.”
Erskine finished last season winning its second Conference Carolinas championship in the last three years and lost in the NCAA Tournament play-in match. Among the players graduating from that Erskine starting lineup includes outside attacker Mike Michelau, the 2016 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, and libero Michael Schneck, the 2016 Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year.
Brubaker will replace the team’s interim head coach Heather Vahjen, who became the first female head coach to reach the men’s volleyball Division I-II NCAA Tournament. Vahjen as the Erskine women’s volleyball head coach took over the men’s volleyball team in the middle of the season after former head coach Cole Tallman left the program.