March 21, 2008
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IOWA CITY – Sharon Dingman, who guided Illinois State to the 2007 NCAA volleyball tournament and has served as the head coach of the Redbird program since 2000, has been selected as the head volleyball coach at the University of Iowa. The announcement came Friday from UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta.
“Sharon is an experienced leader, both of her own team and within Division I college volleyball,” said Barta. “She shares our Iowa values, is a proven winner, and is a great fit to help us rebuild Iowa volleyball.”
“Sharon is an experienced leader, both of her own team and within Division I college volleyball. She shares our Iowa values, is a proven winner, and is a great fit to help us rebuild Iowa volleyball.”
UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta
Dingman has posted a 17-year career record of 336-212, including a 147-98 record at Illinois State. Illinois State earned an at-large bid to the 2007 NCAA tournament, ending the season with an RPI rating of 52. In eight seasons with the Redbirds, she coached 17 all-Missouri Valley Conference selections, including Player of the Year, Libero of the Year and two Freshman of the Year honorees.
In addition, her student-athletes at Illinois State earned a GPA of over 3.0 in every semester and she coached nine Missouri Valley Scholar Athlete team members. Three of her players earned Central Region all-Region honors (now recognized as all-America honorable mention).
“The opportunity to coach at a world renowned university presents itself very few times in one’s career. I am thrilled and honored to be the volleyball coach at the University of Iowa.
“The opportunity to coach at a world renowned university presents itself very few times in one’s career,” said Dingman. “I am thrilled and honored to be the volleyball coach at the University of Iowa. I would like to thank Athletics Director Gary Barta and Associate Athletics Director Mary Curtis for the opportunity to move this program forward. It was evident on my visit there is a desire and commitment for the success of the volleyball program.
“I’ve always felt the Big Ten Conference is the premier volleyball conference in the country,” Dingman added. “I started my collegiate playing career in black and gold in the Big Ten, and I hope to finish my coaching career in black and gold. It’s always been my dream to coach in the Big Ten Conference.”
As a head coach, Dingman has led her team to an average of over 19 wins per season while taking four teams to post-season play. Illinois State earned its way to the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this past season to secure a berth in the national tournament.
Prior to taking over at Illinois State, Dingman served as the head coach at Butler University (1992-1999) and Auburn (1991-92). She led Butler to a 167-101 overall record, including an appearance in the 1997 NCAA tournament. Dingman coached three student-athletes who earned Player of the Year honors in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. Seven Butler student-athletes earned all-Region honors in the Mideast Region and five were named “Top 100 Students” at Butler.
In two seasons at Auburn, Dingman posted a 22-12 record. Her 1991 squad became the first Auburn volleyball team to receive votes in the national poll and Auburn’s fourth place finish in the Southeastern Conference that season marked the highest finish ever for Auburn at the time. Two Auburn student-athletes earned all-SEC honors, including Jenifer Kleyn, who was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was an NCAA post-graduate recipient who carried a 4.0 GPA.
The new Hawkeye head coach has also served as an assistant coach at Kentucky (1988-90), Texas Tech (1985-87) and Northern Michigan (1984-85).
Dingman earned her bachelor’s degree in health education from Northern Michigan in 1984 after beginning her college career at Purdue. She also attended graduate school at Kentucky (1988-90), completing coursework towards her master’s degree in health education.
As an athlete, Dingman was a scholarship student-athlete at Purdue and Northern Michigan. She was a member of Big Ten championship teams at Purdue in 1979 and 1980 at Purdue. At Northern Michigan, she served as team captain in 1982 and 1983 and was selected Most Valuable Player in 1983.
Along with her career in volleyball, Dingman earned a gold medal in team handball at the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival and was invited to train with the U.S. national handball team in 1987. She completed five marathons between 2002-07.
Dingman was named an Outstanding Young Women of America in 1989 and served as chairperson for State Special Olympic Games, volleyball, in 1990. She has been a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) since 1985. She has served on the all-Region Selection Committee (1995-98) and the all-America Selection Committee (1998-2000). She previously served as a member of the Regional Rankings Committee (1997-99 and 2004-06) and was a member of the AVCA Board of Directors from 2000-06.