North Dakota State director of athletics Matt Larsen on Wednesday, May 17, named former Bison standout Jennifer Lopez interim head coach of the NDSU women’s volleyball program.
Lopez has been an assistant coach at North Dakota State the past two seasons. She replaces Kari Thompson, who is leaving to pursue another coaching opportunity.
“I am incredibly excited for Jen. She is most deserving of this opportunity,” Larsen said. “As one of the all-time great players to ever wear a Bison volleyball uniform, Jen exemplifies what it means to be a Bison. I am confident she will bring that same energy, enthusiasm, and competitiveness to the sidelines as the interim head coach.”
Lopez was the Summit League Setter of the Year, Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in 2011 as a senior for the Bison. She was a three-time All-Summit League selection, leading NDSU to four straight regular season league titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances from 2008-11.
She returned to NDSU in April 2015 after spending the 2014 season as assistant coach at West Fargo Sheyenne High School and the 2013 season as head coach at Oak Grove Lutheran High School in Fargo. She has also been highly involved in area instructional camps and club volleyball.
“I am very excited for this new opportunity to develop and lead the volleyball program here at North Dakota State University,” Lopez said. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Matt Larsen, Todd Phelps, the entire athletic department, and Kari Thompson for their continued support and belief in me as a coach.
“We have a talented group of young women both on the court and in the classroom, and the time for us to work starts now,” Lopez said.
Lopez, a Glyndon, Minn., native, ranks among the NDSU all-time top 10 in total assists, assists per set and digs per set. She graduated from NDSU in 2014 with a degree in mathematics education and a minor in coaching.
A national search for a permanent replacement will take place at the conclusion of the 2017 volleyball season.
News courtesy of NDSU Athletics.