Ricci Luyties, the current head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, has been named the new head coach of the UCSD women's volleyball program, Director of Athletics Earl W. Edwards announced Monday.
Luyties becomes the sixth coach in program history, taking over a Triton squad that went 29-3 in 2009 and finished second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with a league record of 20-2.
"I am extremely pleased that Ricci Luyties will be joining the Triton Family as the new head coach of our Women's Volleyball program," Edwards said. "His knowledge of the game and experience as a collegiate national champion at UCLA, playing professionally, and coaching at the collegiate level make him an outstanding addition to our very successful coaching staff."
After leading Southern Miss to the program's first Conference USA title last season, Luyties replaces Tom Black, who accepted the head coaching position at Loyola Marymount in January after five successful seasons at UCSD.
"I'm very excited about this opportunity and I thank Mr. Edwards and the UCSD staff for giving me the chance to lead this program," Luyties said. "I'm looking forward to working with the team and building on the strong foundation that Coach Black established. Hopefully we can continue the program's recent success and take things to the next level."
Luyties comes to La Jolla after six seasons at Southern Mississippi, where he led the Golden Eagles to an overall record of 85-96. He is coming off his most successful campaign, having guided Southern Miss to a 27-5 overall record and a 14-2 Conference USA mark in 2009. The Golden Eagles won their first outright league title and Luyties went on to earn C-USA Coach of the Year honors for his performance. The team's 14 conference wins were a program best and marked a seven-win improvement from a 7-9 finish in 2008.
Prior to taking over at Southern Miss, Luyties served as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado for three seasons, directing the right and left sides. He helped the Buffaloes reach the NCAA Tournament twice during his tenure with the program.
Before joining the collegiate ranks, Luyties was the head coach of the La Jolla High School boys and girls varsity programs and also served as the coach of the Coast Volleyball Club Girls 16's team. Additionally, he coached preps for the Wind N' Sea Volleyball Club in 1998-99 and led the San Diego Volleyball Club Boys 17's and Girls 15's and 16's teams from 1995-98.
Luyties had a very impressive playing career, reaching the pinnacles of the sport at both the collegiate and professional levels. He was one of the most decorated setters in NCAA history for UCLA, leading the Bruins to four consecutive NCAA Championships from 1981-84. He guided the program to an overall record of 126-7, including a pair of undefeated seasons, during his career with the Bruins.
The only player to start on four national title teams, Luyties was a two-time All-American and named the NCAA Most Valuable Player in 1983 and 1984. He was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 1995 and his No. 11 jersey was retired the following year.
Luyties also found success at the international level, winning a pair of gold medals as a member of the U.S. National Team from 1981-88. Alongside Karch Kiraly and Steve Timmons, he led the United States to gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea and was also a key member of U.S. squad that won gold at the 1987 Pan American Games.
In addition to his achievements at the national level, Luyties also played professionally for 12 years, competing regularly on both the AVP and FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tours. His career featured wins in seven pro beach volleyball events, including the 1991 U.S. Championship with teammate Adam Johnson. He also won titles with Kiraly, one of the premiere players in professional beach volleyball history.
Luyties graduated from UCLA in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
SOURCE: UCSD and Southern Mississippi Media Relations.