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UMN Morris tabs Sussenguth as next Cougar Volleyball Head Coach

Joe Sussenguth
Author: 
Joe Tischler, director of athletic communications
Publication date: 
July 2, 2018

The University of Minnesota Morris announces the hiring of Joe Sussenguth as head coach of the Cougar volleyball program. Sussenguth brings a record of success in Minnesota volleyball to an NCAA Division III program ready for the next level of competition. He replaces Lauren Torvi who took the head coaching position at South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Sussenguth spent the past 12 seasons as head volleyball coach at Ridgewater College (Willmar, Minn.) building the Warriors into a national power. He guided Ridgewater to three National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III national championships and seven national tournament appearances while amassing an astounding record of 329-86 (.793). His teams won 10 Minnesota College Athletic Conference Southern Division titles, reached the regional championship match each season, and he coached 23 NJCAA Division III All-Americans.

"I'm ecstatic at the opportunity to be the next head volleyball coach at the University of Minnesota Morris," said Sussenguth. "It's a tremendous opportunity to be a part of this distinguished university and dedicated athletic program."

Sussenguth knows Minnesota high school volleyball success as well, having built an impressive record of 121-20-3 (.844) in his five years as Minneota High School's head volleyball coach. He guided the Vikings to four Minnesota State High School League Class A State Tournament appearances, including runner-up finishes in 2001 and 2005.

"Sussenguth is a terrific choice as next head coach of the Cougar volleyball program," said Jason Herbers, director of athletics. "His dedication to excellence in Minnesota volleyball at the both the high school and collegiate levels will add to the already established atmosphere of volleyball success at UMN Morris."

Sussenguth earned an AA degree at Ridgewater College and a BA with a major in history at Southwest Minnesota State University. He completed his master's degree at Bemidji State University in education with a sports studies emphasis. In addition to his head coaching roles, Sussenguth has directed youth volleyball camps, clinics, and tournaments; served as an instructor for USA Volleyball and university camps and clinics; and directed club volleyball programs.

UMN Morris is coming off one of its most successful seasons in program history. The Cougars recorded a program-high. 765 winning percentage (26-8) in 2017 and qualified for their fifth straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship match appearance.

"The Cougars had an excellent 2017 season and are in prime position to compete for the UMAC title this fall with a strong returning nucleus of student-athletes and a promising first-year class," said Sussenguth. "My immediate goal is to build upon the success the Cougars had last season and elevate the program to consistently be in position to compete for a UMAC championship and qualify for the NCAA Division III national tournament."