Press Release courtesy of Mary Athletics
A hall of fame collegiate athlete who played professionally and has five seasons of coaching experience in NCAA Division II, Korie Lebeda (LEB-bah-dah) has been selected as the next head volleyball coach for the University of Mary.
Lebeda joins the Marauders after three seasons as an assistant coach at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD. She began her collegiate coaching experience at Wayne State College in Wayne, NE, a fellow member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and a nationally ranked program. A member of the Creighton University Hall of Fame, Lebeda also has played professionally for teams in the Premier Volleyball League and overseas in Murcia, Spain.
“We are excited to bring Korie Lebeda aboard as the new head volleyball coach at the University of Mary,” said Marauders Director of Athletics Dale Lennon. “She is a leader and someone who makes those around her better. As a Hall of Fame athlete who learned the game of volleyball from some outstanding coaches, and as a successful coach at the Division II level, Korie understands what it takes to compete at a high level. We believe she will build a successful program at Mary.”
“Our volleyball program at the University of Mary is very important to us,” said University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea. “We have been searching for someone to carry on the personal care for our student-athletes and dedicated leadership of Coach Thais Franca. In Korie Lebeda we have found someone who excelled academically as a student-athlete and, as a coach, whose teams saw improvement every year. She is an impressive person of hard work, determination and—most importantly— of service and respect for others. As a graduate of Creighton University, she knows the value of a Catholic education firsthand and understands for a student’s lifelong development, how powerful, impactful, and yet beautiful, the relationship can be between competing athletically and learning in the classroom. We look forward to watching Korie work closely with our student-athletes to help them grow both athletically, academically and virtuously on and off the court.”
“I would like to thank Dale Lennon, Monsignor Shea, the search committee and all others involved in providing me the opportunity to become the head volleyball coach at the University of Mary,” said Lebeda. “The city of Bismarck, the new facilities on campus and the phenomenal community support make this a very exciting time for Marauders athletics. I am incredibly grateful and excited to start working with the team to become more competitive, as well as recruiting future Marauders.”
In 2017, during her third year as an assistant coach at Black Hills State, Lebeda helped the Yellow Jackets make the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference postseason tournament for the first time in school history. Additionally, the conference and overall win totals improved each of the last two seasons: 11 wins overall in 2017, the most for BHSU since 2012, and the eight Rocky Mountain conference victories is a school record. While at BHSU seven Yellow Jackets earned All-RMAC honors, including four this past season.
“Korie played a key role in helping us qualify for the RMAC playoffs for the first time in school history this past season,” said Black Hills State Head Volleyball Coach Kristin Carmichael. “Korie is a hard-working professional with a depth of volleyball knowledge that will make a positive impact on the University of Mary and Bismarck-Mandan communities. We appreciate everything she has done for Yellow Jacket volleyball and wish her all the best with the Marauders.”
Lebeda began her collegiate coaching experience as a graduate assistant at Wayne State College in 2013. The Wildcats went 22-10 overall in her first season, advanced to the NSIC semifinals and was ranked in the nation’s top 20. In year two, Wayne State earned a spot in the NSIC championship game, won an opening round match at the 2014 NCAA regionals and was ranked sixth in the country with a final mark of 27-7.
Lebeda’s success and familiarity with the NSIC, regarded as the strongest volleyball conference in NCAA Division II, is an asset to the University of Mary program.
“Korie has not only played at a very high level, but has also been associated with the quality of volleyball within our conference,” said Wayne State head volleyball coach Scott Kneifl. “She fully understands what it will take to move the University of Mary volleyball program forward and I believe she will do great things for the Marauders.”
A native of Omaha, NE, Lebeda played collegiate volleyball at NCAA Division I Creighton and was a four-year starter for the Bluejays, setting conference and school records for assists per game as a freshman. Lebeda, a three-time All-Missouri First Team selection (2006, 2007, 2008), a team captain as a junior and senior in 2007 and 2008, led Creighton to four straight winning seasons, including 21 wins in back-to-back years (2006-07). A three-time MVC All-Academic first team selection (2006-08), she earned Creighton’s Willing to Serve service award in 2006-07. In 2014, Lebeda was inducted into the Creighton Athletic Hall of Fame.
“The University of Mary landed one of the best up and coming coaches in the area,” said Creighton head volleyball coach Kirsten Booth, who coached Lebeda and has led the Blue Jays to six NCAA tournaments. “Korie was an amazing player, an outstanding leader, and someone with exemplary character while playing at Creighton University. These characteristics, along with her coaching experience since her graduation, makes her ready to help take the University of Mary to new heights. I look forward to following Korie’s upcoming success.”
A 2009 graduate from Creighton University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Finance, Lebeda later earned a Master of Science in Education: Business, Marketing, and Information Technology degree from Wayne State College in 2014.
In addition to coaching Junior Olympics, high school and other youth teams after graduating from Creighton, Lebeda took her volleyball skills to the next level. She played professionally overseas for Voley Murcia in Murcia, Spain, in 2010. More recently, she competed stateside in the Premier Volleyball League with the Great Plains Tornados and the Iowa Ice.