Sports, Women's Volleyball

Tyler Hildebrand’s departure from LBSU hinted at by post on social media

Long Beach State women’s volleyball second-year head coach Tyler Hildebrand appears to be on his way out. A video was posted from the official USC volleyball account on Monday showing what looks to be Hildebrand walking through the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

The LBSU alum and former Olympian was hired to a five-year deal in December of 2021 under former athletic director Andy Fee. Hildebrand, one of the most decorated players in school history, was a three-time first-team All-American before competing at the professional level overseas.

Before reuniting with his alma mater, Hildebrand was an assistant coach at Nebraska, one of the nation’s volleyball powerhouses. During his five-year tenure with the Cornhuskers, they won the 2017 National Championship.

08/25/23 - Long Beach State head coach Tyler Hildebrand walks through the student section during the halftime break against their preseason game against Texas at The Walter Pyramid. The Beach ended up winning that game No. 1 ranked Texas 3-1 and The Beach ended the season with a 21-10 record.
08/25/23 – Long Beach State head coach Tyler Hildebrand walks through the student section during the halftime break against their preseason game against Texas at The Walter Pyramid. The Beach ended up winning that game No. 1 ranked Texas 3-1 and The Beach ended the season with a 21-10 record. Photo credit: Samuel Chacko

A move to USC ahead of the 2024-25 season would mean Hildebrand returning to the Big Ten conference with the Trojans’ time in the Pac-12 concluding following the end of this school year. The Big Ten is considered the premier conference in the country for women’s volleyball.

What does this mean for The Beach? They would be losing one of the most well-respected alumni who has had significant success during his collegiate coaching career. In his two seasons at the helm, LBSU posted a 40-19 record, with a trip to the inaugural Big West Championship game in a run that included knocking off No. 1 seeded UC Santa Barbara.

The current speculation on social media is that USC will keep their current head coach, Brad Keller, and Hildebrand will be an assistant under Keller who is 44-34 in his three seasons under the helm. But the question in social media comment sections is that this would be a very loud post for an assistant coach.

Neither school has confirmed the move as of now. Long Beach State Athletics declined to comment on this ongoing situation, nor did they refute the news.

Update: On Thursday morning, Long Beach State Athletics put out a press release confirming Hildebrand’s exit. 

“Tyler has done a great job of elevating the women’s volleyball program in his two years at The Beach, and we’re certainly disappointed to see him move on,” LBSU Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Smitheran said. 

Natalie Regan, the top assistant on Hildebrand’s coaching staff last season has since been appointed by Smitheran as the interim head coach.

This article was updated on Feb. 8, 2024 at 2 p.m. with additional information from Long Beach State Athletics. 

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