After Eastern Washington “relieved (their) volleyball coaches of their duties” very late in the coaching carousel, toward the end of March, they’ve finally hired a new head coach for the 2018-2019 season. Leslie Flores-Cloud comes to the program after 5 seasons as an assistant and then associate head coach at Division I Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
In Flores-Cloud’s first season at Drake, the team finished with just a 2-28 record and had an RPI ranking of 303. In 2017, her last season, the team went 23-10 and finished with an RPI ranking of 132, and were in the top 100 at certain points during the season. Flores-Cloud’s arrival coincided at Drake with the arrival of a new head coach, Darrin McBroom, as well.
She takes over a program that had .500 seasons in 2015 and 2016, but dropped to just a 7-18 record (4-12 in Big Sky play) last year.
The last coaching staff left under a cloud of suspicion, that included a university investigator “substantiating” that former head coach Michael King made an impermissible $300 payment to a player, prompting the coaching staff’s immediate termination. That investigation also raised concerns over the rate at which the program was losing players – 18 in 3 seasons, plus 3 more who won’t return this fall. These findings were part of a 105 page report by the university.
King, who denies any wrong-doing, blamed the player Jayde Robertsen and said she took $300 from cash in a money clip on his desk after she wasn’t reimbursed by the university for working a summer camp. Other players were paid for the camp.
King says that the newly-hired athletics director Lynn Hickey refused to hear her side of the story; his termination happened just one week into her tenure.
Read more at The Spokesman.
In a team roster dated May 30th, the team only has 6 players listed for the 2018 season, though none of them are incoming freshmen. The team had 13 players last year, including 3 seniors.