Skinner Named Head Coach of Junior National Team
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky volleyball coach Craig Skinner was named the head coach of the 2006 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, USA Volleyball in Colorado Springs, Colo., announced Thursday.
Skinner, the 2005 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, will lead the Junior National Team into the 2006 Under-20 NORCECA Championships.
“It is a great opportunity to be able to represent our country as the coach of the junior national team,” Skinner said. “I will take great pride in this position, and we will do our best to come back with a gold medal.”
The team will assemble in Colorado Springs, Colo., and train at The Olympic Training Center from July 13-29. The NORCECA Championships will be conducted from July 31-Aug. 5 in Monterrey, Mexico.
“This is a great opportunity for Coach Skinner to represent not only the University of Kentucky, but also the United States,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We’re excited that he has been selected to lead the junior national team. He is very deserving.”
Skinner, who is entering his second season as Kentucky’s head coach, led the Wildcats to a 17-12 record, including a 10-6 mark in SEC play in 2005. Both records were the school’s best since the 1993 season. In addition, Skinner led the Cats to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 1993 campaign.
“We were very pleased to get Craig Skinner to coach the women’s junior national team,” Tom Pingel, USA Volleyball’s director of high performance indoor national programs, said. “He has found success throughout his career as a player and a coach.”
Skinner, who was named the sixth coach in UK history on Dec. 17, 2004, joined the Wildcats from Nebraska, where he spent five seasons as an assistant coach. During his tenure, the Huskers put together a 154-11 record and claimed the 2000 NCAA title with a 34-0 record.
A 1993 graduate of Ball State, Skinner was an outside attacker for the Cardinals, helping guide BSU to a 28-11 record and a third-place finish at the 1990 NCAA Championships. He was a team captain his final two seasons.
While attending Ball State, Skinner also served on the staff of the Asics Municana Volleyball club, helping lead the 18-and-under squad to a U.S. Volleyball Association national runner-up finish in 1992.
Skinner and his wife Megan have a daughter Sophie (2) and reside in Lexington.