Here to talk about the first varsity sport added to the Wittenberg program list since 2003 is new men’s volleyball head coach Evan Amstutz. Amstutz was kind enough to take time off the recruiting trail to talk about what it has been like returning to his alma mater to start this program and give some insight on things to come in the future.
Amstutz, a Wittenberg graduate of 2013, was a member of the club volleyball team and a student assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team that won four consecutive North Coast Athletic Conference titles, including working with the National Championship team in 2011. After his time with the Tigers, Amstutz went to Miami University, where he obtained his masters in exercise science while working with all aspects of the Redhawks women’s varsity team.
Amstutz said this about his time at Miami: “The reason I went to grad school was to stay involved in volleyball… all the while, I was staying involved with the men’s club and working with the junior national team.”
While working at Miami, Amstutz served under coach Carolyn Condit, who also happens to be the same coach who mentored women’s coach Paco Labrador.
When asked about what it has been like since returning, Amstutz said, “It has only been a month, but everyone is great. It is nice kinda coming back working with my old mentor.” Amstutz elaborated on the influence his return has had on recruiting, saying, “It has made recruiting a lot easier since I went here, marketing to the athletes on why to come here is telling them why I went here.”
Sitting in Amstutz’s office is like seeing a professional team’s option board on draft day, with two white boards on the walls listing the top recruits crisscrossing the country to potentially make up the inaugural Tiger men’s volleyball team.
If you ask Amstutz “how is recruiting going?” he’ll answer with a laugh, saying, “It’s a night and day process. There is no work and life separation at this moment, primarily in my first month scouting while still keeping good relationships. All in all, recruiting is great. This is an easy school to recruit to.”
The Tigers have been fortunate enough in their kick-start year to receive a $6,000 grant from USA Volleyball. This amount is broken down into $2,000 increments over the next three years, allowing the Tigers to do what they want with it, in order to build their program.
Amstutz said, “This has enabled us to do big time things, especially at such a small program.”
Amstutz continued to describe that being at such a small program, he thinks they will probably make the most out of the grant, using it to their advantage to fund the program.
Next spring, the Tigers will start their inaugural season not in the NCAC, but the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League.