The University of Portland has found their new head coach in assistant coach Jeff Baxter. Baxter has been the Pilots assistant for the past two seasons and is being promoted as former head coach Brent Crouch left to take over USC earlier this month.
In the spring of 2016, Baxter joined the Pilot’s program, helping the team to an improved two seasons. One of the accomplishments that Baxter was able to help with was bringing the team to a program-best third-place finish in the West Coast Conference. Additionally, Portland saw their first-ever wins over ranked opponents when they took down #7 San Diego and #11 BYU in the 2016 season. That season, the team also posted a program-best 10 wins in the WCC since joining the league in 1987.
On top of his assistant duties the past two seasons, he has been the head coach for the Portland’s beach program. With the beach team, Baxter helped graduate student Tani Stephens earn All-WCC Second Team honors as well as Cali Thompson onto the league’s all-freshman team.
Prior to his time with Portland, Baxter spent a season with Loyola Marymount, helping the team to a Sweet 16 appearance. Previous to that, he spent three seasons as the men’s assistant coach at CSUN, his alma mater. In his playing days, Baxter helped the Matadors to an NCAA Final Four appearance in 2010.
“I am thrilled to be continuing my career here on The Bluff. Being a member of the University of Portland volleyball program has truly been an honor. I am fortunate to continue to work with, and for, a phenomenal group of student-athletes, coaches and staff. I look forward to the future of Portland volleyball and continuing to improve upon the past successes of our program,” said Baxter.
This past season, the Pilots posted a 15-15 record and went 6-12 in WCC play after a 17-13 record in 2016.