Urbana University recently announced that Andrew Palmer will become the school’s first head coach of the men’s volleyball program. Palmer officially began his duties on July 2. Men’s volleyball is one of three new sports launched in recent months by Urbana University, along with acrobatics & tumbling and men’s wrestling. The Blue Knights will begin competition in men’s volleyball in the 2019-20 season.
“I’m excited to announce that Andrew Palmer will be charged with the task of launching the inaugural version of our men’s volleyball program,” UU Executive Director of Athletics Larry Cox said. “As a start-up program, it was very important for us to bring in the right person who understands the landscape of NCAA men’s volleyball.
“Andrew’s background as a collegiate student-athlete and coach displayed his passion, drive and commitment to the sport. We feel confident in Andrew’s ability to lead Blue Knight men’s volleyball.”
Palmer, a native of Aurora, Illinois, brings experience in starting a new men’s volleyball program. Last season, he served as assistant coach and interim head coach at Aurora University (D-III) where the Spartans finished 12-14 during their inaugural season.
“I want to thank Dr. [Christopher] Washington, Larry Cox and Nikki Pluger for the opportunity to be a part of Urbana University,” Palmer said. “I’m thrilled to help bring men’s volleyball to campus and help guide young men in reaching their goals, both on and off the court.”
Palmer originally joined the AU athletics staff for the 2014 season and spent four years as assistant coach for the Spartan women’s program.
Prior to joining the Spartan men’s volleyball team, Palmer spent the previous two seasons at Robert Morris University as an assistant men’s volleyball coach. During his time on the sidelines, the Eagles appeared in two Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championships and finished the 2017 season ranked ninth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Before coaching collegiately, Palmer coached high school volleyball at Geneva High School and Aurora Christian High School. He has also coached boys and girls in the Kane County Juniors Volleyball Club.
Palmer graduated from West Aurora High School in 2006 and was a starter on the boys’ varsity volleyball team. He was a member of the only varsity team in school history to appear at the Illinois State Tournament in 2005.