Feb. 11, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Gretchen Killebrew has been hired as an assistant coach and her husband Mark Killebrew has been hired as the coordinator of operations for the Washington State University volleyball program, head volleyball coach Brian Heffernan announced Sunday.
Gretchen Maurer Killebrew was an All-Pac-10 setter at the University of Washington. A Southern California native, she grew up competing against Heffernan-coached club teams before starring on the 1999 Junior National team coached by Heffernan.
"When I accepted the job at Washington State University two and a half years ago, Gretchen Killebrew was one of the first people I thought of as an assistant coach candidate but the timing was not right in 2004 and I am thankful that it worked out this time around," Heffernan said. "She is an extremely hard worker and knows what it takes to help elevate a program. Our staff and our student-athletes will all benefit from her experiences as an athlete and we all look forward to working with her."
Killebrew brings extensive coaching and professional playing experience to the Cougars. As an assistant coach at Seattle Pacific University in 2006, she helped to guide the Falcons to a 24-3 overall record including a 16-0 mark in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Under Killebrew's leadership, SPU setter Jenna Von Moos was named Conference Player of the Year, All-Pacific Region first team, and third team Division II All-American.
She was equally successful as a head coach at Bellevue Community College in 2005, coaching the team to a 25-8 overall record and an 11-1 record in the region. Three BCC volleyball players were named first team all-region and two out of three sophomores were named to the Northern Region Sophomore All-Star team.
Killebrew was an accomplished athlete at San Clemente (Calif.) High. Chief among her accomplishments was a high school Heisman Trophy nomination and a selection to the All California Interscholastic Federation first team. She also lettered in water polo, swimming, and surfing before joining the Huskies on a full athletic scholarship in 1999.
As a setter at UW, she captained the 2002 Huskies squad and led the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in five years. Killebrew earned other accolades throughout her collegiate career including an All Pac-10 first team selection (2002), All Pacific Region honorable mention (2002), Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention (2000), and was voted the team's most competitive player (1999). Killebrew finished second in UW history in career assists and seventh in career aces. She graduated in 2003 with a bachelors degree in International Studies (Comparative Religion) and a minor in music.
Killebrew went on to play professional volleyball in Maia, Portugal, where she started at setter and led her team to the Portuguese Cup followed by an eighth-place finish at the European Cup.
Mark Killebrew has worked as a senior business systems analyst at Eddie Bauer since 2000, and served as a volunteer coach at SPU and BCC where he specialized in team statistical analysis.
"Mark is passionate about helping to find ways to make our program more effective and efficient both on and off the court," Heffernan said. "His knowledge and expertise with computers and his organizational skills will lend greatly to his role as the director of volleyball operations."
The Killebrews are replacing three-year assistant coach Jody Garry, and her husband Kirby who served as the WSU volleyball coordinator of operations. Kirby has taken a position in development area at Cal State University, Monterey Bay in Central California.
The Killebrews begin their WSU appointments this month.