Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball

Hildebrand assembles new coaching staff for 2022 season

The Hildebrand era has officially begun at The Beach as the recently hired women’s volleyball coach Tyler Hildebrand has finalized his coaching staff for the Fall 2022 season.

Hildebrand is a former assistant coach for The Beach as he helped coach the men’s team from 2013 to 2015. His most recent job was as an assistant coach in Nebraska where he led the Cornhuskers to a national title in just his first year.

Hilderbrand is now returning to his alma mater as a head coach and his staff will feature Curtsy Le Roux as his assistant and recruiting coordinator. Kim Hill will also join the team as a volunteer assistant coach.

Hildebrand cheering on LBSU Volleyball players after the team scores a point
Hildebrand cheering on LBSU Volleyball players after the team scores a point Photo credit: LBSU Athletics

“It means more to me, personally, we’d like to get the ball rolling,” Hildebrand said. “It’s not just another job, it means more.”

Le Roux was appointed as assistant coordinator last January. Before arriving at The Beach, she was an assistant coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she helped the Rebels capture the 2021 National Invitational Volleyball Championship.

She is also responsible for establishing the first professional women’s indoor volleyball league where she helped establish regulations for players and staff regarding injuries, pregnancies, and COVID-19 protocols.

“The moment I got here just felt like home, just a sense of community, and just being mentored by [Nick MacRae] and Tyler…[to] be guided and mentored by so many legends,” Le Roux said. “I knew the legacy here but just the family aspect of it, I love it here.”

According to Le Roux, her main focus is to establish local connections to build her team for years to come.

When Hill was announced as the next member of the coaching staff, she was brought in to implement her knowledge of the game to the team.

“I think because there are new girls coming in and returners, it’s about establishing a leadership, what leaders are going to pop up, what we want as a team, what we want to accomplish so that there is a standard for years to come,” Hill said.

This past summer, Hill was a member of the 2020 Team USA Volleyball team at the Tokyo Olympics where she was a gold winner. In 2014, Hill received a gold medal and was named an MVP.

Hildebrand also added Nick MacRae to his staff. MacRae is a familiar face for The Beach community as he has been part of the men’s volleyball program since 2013.

While MacRae was a coach at The Beach, he has helped develop five All-Americans and two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Year recipients: Josh Tuaniga and TJ DeFalco.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity being able to join, not only the staff, but the legacy of this incredible Long Beach State women’s volleyball team,” MacRae said.

MacRae says he believes Hildebrand can turn the program around as the team finished 16-15 with a .516 win percentage.

“He bleeds black and gold, this ship is immediately in the right direction on a road map to greatness,” MacRae said.

Last year, The Beach let go of Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer, who was a four-year head coach for Long Beach. After McKienzie-Fuerbringer was let go, LBSU brought former assistant coach Sabrina Hernandez to fill in as interim head coach. Hernandez ended The Beach’s season on a hot streak as the team won six matches straight.

Hildebrand explained that there was interest in bringing Hernandez into his staff but after the two had talked, he explained it wasn’t the perfect fit for the team.

“She was considered for the assistant position and I interviewed her, we talked, ultimately I ended up choosing [Le Roux], but she was considered,” Hildebrand said. “It just wasn’t the perfect fit for us, but very thankful for everything she did last year in the midst of, obviously, a difficult time.”

With the coaching staff now set, Hildebrand’s eyes are set on a Big West title.

“We have a lot of work to do, it’s been I think seven years since we won the Big West,” said Hildebrand. “We feel like with our athletic department support, our location, our gym, our legacy, we should be winning the Big West every year.”

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