Former Saint Michael’s coach Chris Kilmer returns to alma mater
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University Athletics department filled out its staff for 2011-12 with the naming of a new head women’s volleyball coach. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon on the PSU Athletics Facebook page and its website athletics.plymouth.edu.
Chris Kilmer, most recently the head women’s volleyball coach at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, has been named the third head coach in the 15-year history of the Panther women’s volleyball program. A native of Essex Jct., Vt., Kilmer is a Plymouth State alum (’99) who got his coaching start at PSU as an undergraduate before spending six years at Saint Michael’s, the past three as head coach. Kilmer takes over from Moira Long, who resigned in May after 13 years at PSU to become the head women’s volleyball coach at her alma mater, Springfield College.
“I'm extremely excited to be returning to Plymouth State to take over one of the top volleyball programs in the Northeast,” said Kilmer. “Coach Long did an amazing job in building a hugely successful program and I look forward to continuing that tradition. I'd like to thank John Clark, Kim Bownes and Courtney O'Clair for granting me this opportunity and being so welcoming.”
Kilmer began his coaching career as a student assistant at Plymouth State under head coach John Garneau, when women’s volleyball premiered as a varsity sport in 1996. Kilmer was also a four-year member of the men’s club volleyball team, serving as captain and club president from 1997-99, and was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 1999. He served as junior high head coach at Moultonborough Academy and junior varsity coach and varsity assistant at Plymouth Regional High School, and was head coach of the Lakes Region Junior Olympic Club in Meredith, N.H. from 1998-06.
After serving three years as an assistant coach at Saint Michael’s, Kilmer was promoted to head coach prior to the 2008 season. He led the team to a 12-14 record in his first season, equaling the program-high for wins in a year since 1995. Kilmer owns a three-year mark of 32-49, just the second coach in the program’s 32-year history to record more than 25 victories in his first three seasons.
“We are very excited to have Chris Kilmer join our department as the head women's volleyball coach,” said PSU Associate Director of Athletics Kim Bownes. “Besides bringing a very strong coaching background with him, Chris also brings a love for PSU and the community, which is where he began his passion for the game as an undergraduate.”
Kilmer inherits a program that has made nine consecutive post-season tournaments and returns all six starters and its libero. PSU finished 19-14 last season, placed third in the Little East Conference with a 5-2 mark, and advanced to the semifinals of the ECAC New England Tournament.
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