Justin Ingram signs three-year contract extension at Southern Illinois

    SIU head coach Justin Ingram

    SIU head coach Justin Ingram
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    May 8, 2014

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University women’s volleyball head coach Justin Ingram has agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2017 season, the school announced Thursday.

    In just two years at the helm of SIU’s program, Ingram has led a resurgence in Saluki volleyball posting a 41-22 (.651) overall mark, including a 24-12 record in Missouri Valley Conference play. In his first season at SIU, Ingram led the Salukis to their first 20-win campaign since 2002 and a trip to the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Championships. He followed that up in 2013 with yet another 20-win season — the first back-to-back 20-win seasons at Southern since 1984-85 — and SIU’s first trip to the MVC title game in 11 years.

    "Justin and his staff have been a shot of adrenalin to our volleyball program," said SIU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "What he has done in such a short period of time has been nothing short of phenomenal and his personal drive and focus will allow us to continue to strive for not only 20-win seasons, but ultimately MVC championships and NCAA appearances. I am very pleased to receive this commitment from him, and I look forward to working together to build a tremendous fan base in Southern Illinois to showcase what I consider to be one of our top emerging sports at SIU."

    In his first season, the Salukis were 21-9 overall with a fourth-place 11-7 mark in the league. During one stretch, the team won 11-straight matches, the longest winning streak since 1994. SIU also snapped a 19-match losing streak against Creighton on Sep. 28 and were the only Valley team to defeat the NCAA Sweet 16 Bluejays during the 2012 season. Two players were named first-team All-MVC selections and one a Capital One Academic All-American. Under Ingram's direction, SIU finished the 2012 season ranked second in the MVC in blocks, third in assists, and fourth in hitting percentage. Senior Bailey Yeager broke the single-season digs record, recording a total of 630 digs. Sophomore setter Amy Drabant recorded 1,178 assists to rank 10th all-time in assists in a single season and senior Laura Thole recorded 1,212 attempts to rank second all-time in a single season.



    In 2013, Ingram led SIU on its deepest foray into the MVC tournament in 11 years by advancing to the title game against top-seeded Wichita State. The Ingram-led Salukis posted wins over five schools in the Valley that ended the season ranked in the RPI top-100 — including three victories over 61st-ranked Northern Iowa. It was a historic season for Southern (20-13, 13-5 MVC), as SIU’s first victory over UNI on Oct. 12 broke a 40-match slide against the Panthers that dated back to 1993. Less than one month later on Nov. 4, the Salukis posted their first win over Wichita State since 2001 — ending a 23-match losing streak. SIU won its first MVC tournament game since 2002 by defeating Bradley in the first round. Southern also earned its first MVC Freshman of the Year honor since 1996 (Debbie Barr) as freshman Hannah Kaminsky claimed the award. Ingram’s two 2013 first-team All-MVC honorees — Taylor Pippen and Jessica Whitehead — gave Ingram a second-consecutive season of two First-Team selections, the first time in school history at least two Salukis have been honored in consecutive seasons.

    “I appreciate the confidence our administration has shown in our growth as a program,” Ingram said. “Our recent successes have everything to do with tremendous leadership in place and their relationships with our volleyball staff and student-athletes. Mario Moccia, Kathy Jones and Chancellor Cheng have invested a lot of time, sharing their visions and supporting our team as we continue to push forward each year.”

    “We are very fortunate to coach athletes at SIU who have passion for competition and drive to reach steep goals,” Ingram said. “Each year we graduate student-athletes who made great impacts to our programs’ growth. There is no doubt we will continue to develop as new leaders emerge and new challenges become possible. We want to continue to produce a product on and off the court that our SIU community and fan base can proudly support.”

    Coach Ingram’s SIU Career Highlights (Two Seasons)
    • 41-22 overall record at SIU (.651 winning percentage)
    • 24-12 MVC record (.667)
    • 2-2 in the Valley tournament, which included SIU’s first trip to the MVC title game in 11 years (2002)
    • Four MVC First-Team All-Conference honorees
    • Four MVC Scholar-Athletes
    • Three MVC All-Freshmen honorees
    • 2013 MVC Freshman of the Year (Hannah Kaminsky); first from SIU in 17 years (Debbie Barr, 1996)
    • Three MVC All-Tournament members: Taylor Pippen (2012), Alex Rivera (2013) and Jessica Whitehead (2013)
    • One Academic All-American (Bailey Yeager, 2012, third-team)
    • Two Academic All-District honors (Alysia Mayes and Bailey Yeager, 2012)