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Iowa City native Shymansky named volleyball coach

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | FEBRUARY 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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After more than 12 years, Bond Shymansky is finally coming home.

Well over a decade into coaching various women’s volleyball programs all over the country, the Iowa City native and University of Iowa graduate has returned to his hometown to take his dream job: head coach of the Iowa women’s volleyball team. 

For Shymansky, it has been a long time coming and a job that has weighed on him since the beginning of his coaching career.

“Yes, it just has [been on my mind],” he said. “There’s something, and I tweeted the other night, ‘always have been, always will be a Hawkeye.’ That’s just the way it is. You know, you grow up here, and it just becomes a part of whom you are. It’s part of your fabric.”

Since graduating from the UI in 1995, Shymansky’s career has taken him from high-school gymnasiums to the heart of ACC country and now the Big Ten, the most competitive volleyball conference in America.

“It’s really been a great journey for me,” Shymansky said.   “I started as a ninth-grade B team coach at West High … I don’t think my paycheck ever even covered my food and gas expense, but that’s not why I was doing it.

“I did it because I loved the game, and I loved coaching and teaching.”

Shymansky brings more than hometown experience and a positive attitude.  In his 12 years of coaching at the college level, he has developed a winning pedigree and attitude — a key reason Athletics Director Gary Barta hired him.

“Looking for somebody who shared our values: Win, graduate and do it right, and that was an important piece of the puzzle,” Barta said. “I certainly knew what he had accomplished at Georgia Tech. I watched as he did that again and repeated that success at Marquette.”

While at the helm of the Golden Eagles, Shymansky guided his squad to its first ever NCAA berth and victory in program history in 2011, before leading the team back to the tournament in consecutive seasons in 2012 and 2013.

Before that, Shymansky spent seven seasons as the head coach of Georgia Tech, guiding the Yellow Jackets to three tournament berths, including finishes in the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen, earning ACC Conference and Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2004.

“Going into next season, I’m just expecting kind of a fresh start,” junior Alessandra Dietz said.  “As well as a lot of good things in preseason and in the Big Ten for Iowa.”

Shymansky will try his best to install a winning attitude and culture at Iowa, a program that traditionally has never had one. 

Though the Hawkeyes went just 2-18 in the Big Ten this past season, a number of returning Iowa players have raised expectations for next season. 

“Our expectations are obviously to improve our win-loss record,” junior Alex Lovell said.  “That’s the basis.  We’d love to make the NCAA Tournament as well, but I guess we’ll just have to see how that goes from our preseason to our nonconference and just build from there.”

Luckily for them, Shymansky has all the confidence in the world that this team is capable of success.

“Everything is here that we need to succeed. It’s here,” Shymansky said. “It’s the people, it’s the staff, it’s the conference, it’s the facilities — it’s all here.”


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