Oregon first-year head coach Matt Ulmer walked into a sticky situation when he was promoted to become the Ducks’ new head coach this season. At just 33-years old, he took over a team where the prior coaches were fired, quite publicly, over allegations of abuse by players. That ousting was received with support from some alumni and animosity from others.
Ulmer saw the situation first hand as an assistant for two years, though, and so he knew exactly what he was taking on with his first collegiate head coaching job.
“I think I just do my job, and so I’m here to support whoever I’m working with and that’s the University of Oregon and the administration,” he said at his introductory press conference. “So I think I’ve always just done my job to the best of my ability, and I’ll continue to be here for the girls.”
Ulmer has the Ducks rolling early. They’ve started their season with a 2-1 record and sit 10th in the latest VolleyMob rankings – their only blemish being a loss to then-#1 Texas on opening weekend, countered by a win over then-#5 Nebraska.
The latest milestone came in a mid-week sweep of UT Rio Grande Valley on Thursday – the Ducks’ first home win of the season and Ulmer’s first as head coach.
Below, watch Ulmer’s full address to his team after Thursday’s victory. The first comments he makes are about the team’s energy and how fans came up to him after the game to let him know how much fun they were to watch.
This is a rare insight into what coaches do at the top level. Ulmer has been particularly open with Ducks fans though – before 14 of the team’s 16 home matches, he’s hosting a chalk talk where he delves in to the team’s strategy and helps educate fans about the sport.
Oregon plays again Friday as part of the Oregon Classic against Loyola Marymount and finishes the weekend against Northern Illinois on Saturday.
Live for head coach Matt Ulmer’s postgame speech in the University of Oregon Volleyball locker room. #GoDucksLive
Posted by Go Ducks on Thursday, August 31, 2017