Ray Gooden out as head coach of NIU volleyball

21-year coaching veteran ends tenure in DeKalb


Sean Reed

NIU head volleyball coach Ray Gooden speaks with sophomore libero Francesca Bertucci between rallies in the Huskies’ first regular season game against the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Aug. 26. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – Ray Gooden will no longer serve as NIU’s head volleyball coach after NIU Athletics announced it will not renew Gooden’s contract, NIU’s Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean Frazier announced Friday.

Gooden’s NIU career spanned 21 seasons after being hired in August 2002. He finished his NIU career with a record of 357-295, the winningest head coach in NIU volleyball history.

“We appreciate Ray’s years of service and his dedication to NIU Athletics, the volleyball program and his student-athletes,” Frazier said. “His record and accolades speak for themselves. He has made a huge impact on this department, the university, the volleyball community and beyond. Unfortunately, over the last six seasons, we have not seen the program take enough steps forward to compete for MAC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, which is the standard we have set.”

The Huskies won three Mid-American Conference regular season titles in 2011, 2015 and 2016. NIU also appeared in the NCAA Tournament twice during Gooden’s tenure.

NIU’s final season under Gooden ended with a 17-11 overall record, going 10-8 in the conference slate. The Huskies fell short of a Mid-American Conference Tournament berth after suffering a 3-2 defeat to Western Michigan University in NIU’s season finale on Nov. 16.

A national search for the next leader of NIU volleyball will begin immediately.